On receipt Homer's Battle of the Frogs and Mice (Shelf mark HI c23, 1717) was in poor condition with the textblock separated from the case. The most interesting thing about the book was that the original sewing supports were still intact. Prior to any structural repair the textblock was cleaned, creases flattened and several pages washed in-situ using a suction table.
In order to maintain the as much original structure as possible I kept the original lacings, however reinforced them by lacing in new linen braid behind the supports. I was then able to re-sew the textblock around the original supports using the original sewing pattern and holes. The original endbands were also tacked into place using a back bead stitch to hold secure.
Once the sewing was complete the sewn textblock received a new Japanese paper lining prior to recovering. Leather repairs were attached to the head and tailcaps where significant damage and loss had occurred as well as to the front tail end corner where a significant amount of leather was missing. These leather repairs were made using archival calf dyed with conservation leather dyes. After repairs were made the original leather was pasted to the book using Canadian wheat starch paste.
Front cover before conservation
Front cover after conservation with new leather corner covering
Back cover before conservation
Back cover after conservation
Inside front cover before conservation
Lacing in new linen tape under the original lacings for added support
Set-up used to re-sew the sections around the original lacings
Textblock re-sewn around original supports with Japanese paper lining
Front inside cover after conservation
Nearly detached endband before conservation
Close up view of original endband tacked down
View of spine after conservation