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Almost alla Veneziana


Almost "alla veneziana"
In many old long-stitch bindings in paper on Venetian books of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries I have seen, the plain handmade paper cover is hidden under a very elegantly decorated paper or silk. The turn-ins of this embellishing wrapping, which I will call "alla veneziana" (in the Venetian style), are pasted inside the first cover. The endpapers are then pasted to the turn-ins and left unadhered in the middle.
Click here to see the images.

The sewing
To use the existing sewing holes of the book I was obliged to do a traditional sewing on raised cords (see image 1). Old paper bindings in Italy are often sewn this way. The cords are left loose inside, the end leaves being the only link with the cover. To have a more solid anchorage, I decided to take the cords out through the plain handmade paper cover and instead of going back into it, as is often done in limp vellum bindings, to spread and fix the cords outside. To make these 'fans' as invisible as possible I have covered them with a stripe of Japanese paper. The book opens beautifully (see images 2 and 3).
My duty done, it was time for a more frivolous and fragile covering. The second cover, made with one of my roller-decorated papers, has very wide turn-ins. The structural cover is cut 1mm bigger than the book-block and allows for 1.5 mm book squares in this second cover.
In order to be in tune with the book I have chosen a paper that looks 'timeless' whose pattern is not perfectly inked (see image 4).

Putting scraps together
The same kind of sewing and anchorage is used for this second binding: a plain handmade paper brochure cut at the edges covered with three decorated old paper scraps (see image 5), previously pasted together on a Japanese paper to match the measurements of the cover.
This kind of binding has a clean inside, no turn-ins and a solid attachment to the book-block, it might be the ideal choice for old books with just one sheet endpapers (see image 6).

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