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Tolkien Collector's Guide
Apr 24
2021/4/24 23:18:27 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Thanks!
Apr 24
2021/4/24 23:30:43 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Good link Stu. Rounding and backing provides protection to the sewn sections, with each section supporting the next. The outer signatures (including the endpapers) are bent over to almost 90 degrees to form shoulders; these are then braced by the boards or case. Rounding & backing stops the page block sagging over time and the sewing eventually failing. There are other aspects in play like thread & swell (with glue), paper type, page drape, etc. Spines can be hollow-back or tight-back depending on choice. All of these things are what you will see if you have a hand-bound book from a reputable hand bookbinder. Most of the trash we all buy exhibit none of these qualities. Of course, if you look after standard case-bound books, maybe "collect" them only (& don't read them), they'll last many years. But the expectation of the binder, using well established techniques, is that a book (with care but still used/read) will last 100 years, not just 10-20.
Apr 24
2021/4/24 23:35:23 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Btw, in case it's not already obvious, I started bookbinding a while back. It's why I'm now being such a pedantic, arsey know-it-all about these things! ;)
Apr 24
2021/4/24 23:46:24 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Khamûl wrote:

But the expectation of the binder, using well established techniques, is that a book (with care but still used/read) will last 100 years, not just 10-20.

Should last a lot longer than that. I have a properly rounded and backed Lydney Park from the 30s (probably bound for an academic institution around that time). You can absolutely see and feel the durability.
Apr 24
2021/4/24 23:48:21 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Khamûl wrote:

Btw, in case it's not already obvious, I started bookbinding a while back. It's why I'm now being such a pedantic, arsey know-it-all about these things! ;)

Something I'd love to get into when I retire. It is a pain getting the materials in NZ, though (oddly not so bad in Australia).
Apr 25
2021/4/25 0:19:51 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Mauro D86: thank you very much for the information on these beautiful books! I know Italian (in fact, I just bought Bompiani's illustrated Silmarillion), so I'll try someday to find any of these. However, I think it will be extremely hard due to their scarcity.

Ithildin: this is one of the most stunning books I have ever seen, what a magnificent treasure to possess. Unfortunately it's unlikely I've ever get it, due to its price: saw it for over $1000. Maybe I'm lucky one day and I'll grab for a better price second-hand. Thank you very much for sharing.

Khamûl: thank you so much for your sharing your knowledge! I got the word "ribs" from the official HC release of the upcoming LotR edition, now I know better . I knew nothing about book binding (I do now after reading your posts). I do think these Norwegian, Italian, German and upcoming English editions are very aesthetically pleasing, even if they make "no sense" in terms of binding, I personally don't mind this anachronism. It may be a fashion, as Stu says, but it's a fashion I enjoy. In fact, I'll get the new HC deluxe later this year.
Apr 25
2021/4/25 4:19:05 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
I'm all for raised bands (whether fashion accessories or functional). Particularly for leather editions, flat spines can look a bit bland. I always thought the 1997-2002 black quarter bound editions would have looked better with some bands.
Apr 25
2021/4/25 5:11:26 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Rounding and Backing

https://www.adelaide.edu.au/library/sp ... rpose%20of%20gluing%20the,was%20not%20required%20before%20then.
Apr 25 (edited)
2021/4/25 11:14:27 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
I suppose what I was trying to get at is: if you have two "fine bindings" recognise that a bookbinder's fine binding and a publisher's fine binding could be quite some way apart in terms of quality. And it is quality. There's a reason you'll need to pay several hundred pounds (plus) for a private rebind. Small matters like gilt edges require skill and are time consuming by hand; you'll pay for this. HarperCollins/publisher's gilt edges are done by machine. Quality leather, that publishers generally don't use (to keep costs down), are very expensive. Handmade marbled endpapers and machine printed ones may be close in appearance; but the former is expensive. These things require skill and time to make. If you don't care about things being "hand crafted" then obviously there are huge cost savings to be made. And machine-made doesn't necessarily mean poorer. It's really all about choice. Maybe you want to support these old craft skills, maybe you don't.

Just some things to consider when you compare fine bindings.
Apr 25
2021/4/25 13:07:56 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Speaking of raised bands...although seller wants $9200 USD

Abebooks.com (affiliate)
The Lord of the Rings', UK first edition set...
Tolkien, J.R.R.
30901189846
(Hardcover)
$9303.16
Availability: Not Available
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