My friend and colleague Pete has been the source of many a book project and this one is no exception. It is a very old copy of The Pilgrims Progress by John Bunyon, which is a bit of a favourite of his. He originally asked if I could rebind it, but found that it was still quite secure, if a little tatty. Because of the sentimental value he places on this, I declined to make any permanent alterations to its structure and make a clamshell box, to store it and protect it from unnecessary handling.
It is a standard box, made in the same way as another one I made last year, but with an additional feature.
OK, so far, this looks like an ordinary clamshell archive box; two snugly fitting halves enclosed by a standard case, but wait!
With a gentle tip up on either side, two supporting leaves emerge and prop up within the case to make a reading frame.
The two additions were measured to allow the two halves fit together, and extra depth added to the box to account for the extra four layers of greyboard within the space normally allocated for the book. These are made separately and glued by a flap near the spine. When folded flat, the ‘prop’ piece fits in the space under the leaves, allowing the book to be enclosed by smooth surfaces.
I’m pretty pleased with the outcome and would like to give credit to whoever came up with this idea. I have seen examples of this on the internet in the past and assume that it is a reasonably common model, but cannot find any to link to as I write this. If someone else can identify a source for this, I will add it here, along with any necessary credits.
A little detail from the book. Not the kind of academic research one might expect of a worthy tome such as this, but just my little booky observations:
Steam printer! Excellent! Butler and Tanner (Now Butler Tanner & Dennis) are still going, but sadly no longer engage in the esoteric art of steam printing. Imagine the scene; a top-hatted and bewhiskered Mr. Dennis striding purposely across the printworks amid the clatter and hiss of well-oiled, over-engineered Victorian steam-powered ingenuity, enveloped in a cloud of moist air tainted with the smells of hot oil, inks and human labour…
Oops, sorry, I forgot where I was for a moment!
There is another inscription too – 1873 Selina Waters (?) which also fascinates me – I also put my name in my books, but doubt if anyone will ponder over them when I’m long gone!