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…Who strive - you don't know how the others strive
To paint a little thing like that you smeared
Carelessly passing with your robes afloat,-
Yet do much less, so much less, Someone says,
(I know his name, no matter) - so much less!
Well, less is more, Lucrezia…

Andrea del Sarto: Robert Browning

I had two books that needed to be rebound: the bigger one from 1814 was protected by a coeval decorated paper wrapper torn at the back, the missing part being too big to be restored. Click image 1.
The second book, a pocket guide in orthography of 1820, had no covers. The sewing was broken and the paper, curled at the corners, needed to be washed and resized. Click image 2.
At a closer look I realized that the paper at the front cover of the first book was big enough to make a wrapper for the other one.
I cleaned the decorated paper with soft rubber and put it aside.
When the small book was ready to be sewn I made an unsupported sewing like the one it had before.
The bigger volume, a treatise on divorce, was printed on a wonderfully fresh and crisp paper and the sewing on hidden cords was sound and allowed for a flat opening. Click image 4. At first I thought of a secondary sewing to attach the book-block to a new cover, then I decided to adopt a minimal solution. I realized that the book had lived for almost two hundred years wrapped in paper and why should I find another solution when I could very easily use one of my printed papers. With a little paste on the spine to fix the coloured wrappers the two books were ready. Click images 3 and 5.

*LESS IS MORE - This phrase is often associated with the architect and furniture designer Mies van der Rohe or “la Señorita van der Rohe” as we called him at home. My elder brother who studied architecture in Madrid came home with the story that one of his fellow students had mistaken Mies with Miss being convinced the architect was a woman. I never knew if the student had really made the mistake or if it was one of those jokes madrilene people keep inventing every day.

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