A Book and a Model of a Book

model and book

A two image gif: a model of an 18th century French binding and a real 18th century French Binding

Conservators often make models of bindings in order to understand how materials, structures, and techniques interact. Models are different from a facsimile or pastiche bindings: they are not intended to look like an old binding, but are made as closely as possible to replicate an historic structure. Making models helps conservators understand subtleties and procedures of construction, and aids in determining what physical evidence is essential to preserve. While acknowledging a model’s new materials, conservators can also use them as a mock-up to test treatment options.

The model above was made by following the technical descriptions in Diderot, Dudin, and Gauffencourt. (1)  How does this gif inform our understanding of the relationship between the model and historic binding?  How can the lacuna between them be interpreted? In this gif, the model simultaneously bursts out of the historic binding as the binding disappears into the model, possibly analogous to our conceptual understanding of the two.

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1. Denis Diderot and Jean le Rond d’Alembert Encylopedié ou Dictionnaire Raisonne des Sciences, des Arts et des Métiers, Paris, 1751-1780; René Martin Dudin L’Art du Relieur-Doreur de Livres, Paris: Saillant & Nyon, 1772; Jean-Vincent Capronnier de Gauffecourt Traité de la Relieure des Livres (originally 1737) trans. by Claude Benaiteau, Austin: W. Thomas Taylor, 1987.

Added 17 Sept 2014:

Model and book

5 thoughts on “A Book and a Model of a Book

  1. Peter D Verheyen

    Fun and interesting. Can you slow the switching back and forth down a touch, say 2 seconds each. Very hard to distinguish between the two which speaks volumes for being able to get the “look” right, but leaves one begging for more time to look…

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