Bible Repair & Restoration
More than other book, Bibles are family heirlooms. They often contain the records of the main events of several generations: birth, communion, wedding, death. As such, they are treasures. I have restored Bibles dating from the 1600’s.
Missing or broken spines, torn pages, worn out leather, detached or missing covers: most defects can be corrected. I strive to restore the bible as much as possible to its original condition.
The cover of the Bible above was entirely detached. It was also very dried out, scuffed in some areas and the top of the spine was coming apart. I reattached the cover, dyed the leather where required and treated it. After a coat of natural wax, this circa 1870 Bible illustrated by Gustave Doré and others was ready to last another couple of centuries.
This late 1800s Bible was delivered in a carton as shown (left). The two covers were detached, as well as several individual pages and entire sections. Once the text bloc was restored, I reattached the covers. To do this, I raised the existing leather along the covers about one inch near the spine. I inserted a piece of leather to reset the two covers in place. The existing spine was glued on the new strip of leather. The original leather was so dry it was powdered in spots and stained the fingers. I treated it, dyed it, and finally waxed it. The original golden accents on the existing embossed covers were once again vivid and rich against the dark brown of the revived leather.
This Bible was published in the 1950’s. For some odd reason, it had oversized covers that eventually broke at the corners and came apart from the spine as the simile leather dried out. I replaced the covers, framed them with genuine leather and used the same leather on the spine. I saved the picture in front, as well as the titled section of the spine and the end papers. With proper care, this Bible will now last for generations.
This German bible had detached covers and lacked the end papers. The cover was reattached and new end papers inserted. This Bible has a fore-edge painting (see gallery for more on fore-edge paintings) and the end papers match its color scheme.
This is another Bible which was published in the 1950’s. Its oversized covers broke at the corners and came apart from the spine. They had been reattached with tape. I replaced the spine and the covers which I framed with leather that matched the original cover design. I managed to save the picture in front, as well as the back and the titled section of the spine. I had some trouble removing the tape and the glue residue (as a rule, do not use tape to repair books), but was pleased with the result. With proper care, this Bible will now last for a few more generations.