Accidental Book Art

needle

A Millennium of the Book, Edited by Robin Myers & Michael Harris, contains seven important essays on book history.  Likely the best known to book conservators is Nicholas Pickwoad’s  “Onward and downward: how binders coped with the printing press before 1800”.

Standing upright in the middle of a section of my copy of this book is a manufacturing error— a broken sewing needle.  I can feel it’s impression on about 30 leaves before and after it.

A material manifestation of Pickwoard’s argument in the 20th century? Accidental book art?