1870 Family Bible Restoration

I found this broken down beauty in a used bookstore just crying out for restoration and couldn’t resist picking it up for my personal collection. 145 years old, this huge Bible had seen a lot of wear and tear. Somewhere in the past century it migrated through the midwest, picking up newspaper clippings and losing a spine. Probably used mostly for display, the outer surface of the leather was worn almost completely away on the back cover from years of sitting on a table and being scooted from place to place. The leather on the edges had cracked, allowing moisture to seep in and warp the boards, popping them apart. Without a spine, the exposed stitching began to fail and the loose signatures took a beating. Something about the book’s history and former loveliness┬ácalled to me, though, and hours of restoration later I can see why.

The condition of the Bible at first glance
The condition of the Bible at first glance

 

First step: dissemble and repair all torn pages
First step: dissemble and repair all torn pages

 

Sewing the whole book back together on sunken cords
Sewing the whole book back together on sunken cords

 

Reattaching the covers
Reattaching the covers

 

Fitting the new spine
Fitting the new spine

 

The Bible with new spine attached, just after repairing, toning, and treating the leather.
The Bible with new spine attached, just after repairing, toning, and treating the leather.
The finished result!
The finished result!

 

Spine and restored back cover
Spine and restored back cover

 

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