“Corpus Christi College Oxford” – Leather consolidation

This project was executed during a work placement in 2015 in the Oxford Conservation Consortium.

Phi E.3.5. is a blind-tooled leather covered book from the Corpus Christi College in Oxford. The book is sewn on four raised double alum-tawed skin supports.

The outer leather joint of the lower board was split and damaged. A decision was made to join the split leather with a strip of toned Japanese paper underneath, in order to hold the leather together without preventing some flexibility when opening the book. The Japanese paper strip was then pasted on the wooden board under the cover. The leather cover was finally pasted on the Japanese paper and left to dry.

Due to the stiffness of the sewing supports, the four wooden pegs in each board had become loose and some had fallen out of place. The decision was made to secure the pegs in the lacing holes, in order to avoid losing them or them getting caught in the gutter and causing damage to the textblock. The pegs were secured in place with machine-made Kozo Japanese paper and wheat starch paste to help them adhere in the lacing hole and to the end of the slips. Even if they become loose again, they will move but have been secured to the ends of the slips.

The following images are reproduced by permission of “The President and Fellows of Corpus Christi College, Oxford”.

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