Corps du Droit-Leather Repair

CORPS DU DROIT FRANCAIS OU RECUEIL COMPLET

CORPS DU DROIT FRANCAIS OU RECUEIL COMPLET... PUBLIES DEPUIS 1789 JUSQU'A NOS JOURS [BODY OF FRENCH LAW IN COMPLETE COLLECTION]
By C. M. Galisset, Pub. 1833 Bureau du Corps du Droit Francais

This set documents the rights of French citizens established by the Republic after the collapse of the monarchy and their development through a period of upheaval and ideological change.

Five steps of the process

The original bindings were in good condition with the exception of distressed and partially disconnected leather spine covers. The paper was flexible and strong. Attachment of the boards (front and back cover) was unusually good, with the original cord material still strong and soundly laced into them, and the inner hinge showing little stress. These strengths made them good candidates for repair of the original leather spines.

Sometimes old leather is dried out and decayed, or damaged by leather 'dressing' applied by well meaning caregivers in days gone by and therefore unlikely to survive repair work. A small test was done on the leather: if the leather had abruptly darkened and hardened in that area, we would not have been able to repair these bindings, but the leather responded well.

CORPS DU DROIT FRANCAIS OU RECUEIL COMPLET-Step One

The spine cover has been removed and the leather on the boards lifted. Note the use of period ephemera in the structure. The technician observed additional printed material under the leather which apparently wrapped the boards before the final cover material was applied.

CORPS DU DROIT FRANCAIS OU RECUEIL COMPLET-Step Two

The old backing material has been cleaned from the spine, the concavity of the spine structure has been corrected, and a protective layer of tissue and paste applied as a reversible buffer between the paper and the materials that will be added in the course of the repair.

CORPS DU DROIT FRANCAIS OU RECUEIL COMPLET-Step Three

Cloth has been adhered over the spine and trimmed on either side into 'wings' that will fit under the lifted leather on the boards. The original 'hollow spine' structure is recreated using a strong ph neutral machine made paper. Missing areas have been filled with a thicker paper (blotter).


CORPS DU DROIT FRANCAIS OU RECUEIL COMPLET-Step Four

After cleaning the old paper from inside the spine cover and treating the leather, it is adhered.

CORPS DU DROIT FRANCAIS OU RECUEIL COMPLET-After Treatment

A completed treatment is shown here. A harmonious toned tissue goes over the repaired areas and is lightly dressed so it looks a little like leather instead of paper.