The style of book binding above with mottled leather is called Cat’s Paw, appearing to have had little inked feline foot pads walk over its covers. But no, this design is actually made with various types of stains and colors, applied in the binder’s workshop without the aid of a willing cat accomplice. The Internet was leaping a couple of years ago with accounts of evidence of a no-doubt confident and more »
This post was written by Vanessa Haight Smith, head of Preservation Services. When repairing older books, the Smithsonian Libraries conservators occasionally uncover evidence of recycling by the original bookbinders. Paper from damaged and discarded volumes was frequently used when binding new books. Why use a new, clean sheet of paper when a leftover scrap would work just as well?
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