6 Books that Look Like They Belong at Hogwarts: Book 3 - Preservation Week Edition

If you’ve followed us for a while on Facebook or Twitter, you’ve seen this one before.  But it’s beautiful enough to show again, and because we love it so much, we included it the Hogwarts mini-exhibit we did last month.  

We tend to think elaborate bindings look like they belong in magical libraries, and this is one of the most elaborate in the collections. The binding on this book is silk velvet, originally red, but faded over time to brown.  The decorative clasps and plates on both front and back boards are made of silver.  One of the clasps is even engraved with the name of a previous owner.  All the edges are gilt, and there are remains of leather tabs, used to reference specific spells masses.  This book is a missal - a book used in Catholic Mass - printed in 1701. You can see the amazing engravings it contains in my first blog post about it.

Where does Preservation Week figure in all this?  Well, here:

That’s the inside hinge of the front board; see how it’s cracking?  The conservator we work with notes that this book has been re-backed in the past, probably in the nineteenth century.  It only needs minor repairs. You can see more about it (and the Hogwarts book from last week) on our Adopt a Book program site.

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