Today a customer asked me how best to care for his leather books. My answer to this question is usually advising them to get some book dressing from Talas. The book dressing I use I make myself. (a combination of neatsfoot oil and lanolin). But this customer was not a dealer or collector. He just wanted to keep a few non descript leather books in good condition and he didn’t want to order anything special. “There must be something around the house that I can use?” was his question.
A number of years ago I encounted a book dealer who swore by “CVS hand cream”, “Unscented” he insisted. A bit unorthodox I thought but I tried it. I’m not in love with the idea for a number of reasons. But still the idea had some merit. It takes a bit of extra rubbing to work the white cream, and as a commercial cream it had some merit that I wouldn’t normally think of on books. But in the absence of anything better it did seem to hydrate the leather.
I think I’ll continue to recomend book dressing but in a pinch I’ll never forget the CVS handcream-unscented.
Charles Videto, Applefirerestoration.com
Greetings! If you like old books, antique Bibles and manuscripts, or in general anything old that pertains to print books or history, then this is a good place to be!
As owner and bookbinder at Applefirerestoration.com, this blog will be a place where I (we) can share knowledge, ideas, opinions and helpful hints about books, their care and repair, book history, trivia and historical tid-bits.
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Incunabula referes to printed material from 1450 to 1500. It’s not uncomon to include things printed in the year 1501. But more and more we see the term Post-Incunabula to include items printed up to the year 1525 or even a bit later. I’ve seen things printed as late as 1540 refered to as post-incunabula. Some refer to anything printed in the early part of the 16th century as “early printing”
Personally, I like the term Post-Incunabula. Often these Post-Incunabula items are more affordable to young collectors who like to attach the Latin label to their purchase. I prefer to use the term “Early Printing” as it refers to a particular topic.
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