Thursday, February 12, 2009

Adventures in Medieval Bookbinding, Part 4 : Tegumentum Cinereum

For part four of my eight-part series, I decided to make Tegumentum Cinereum (which roughly translates to "ash-coloured", the colour of the original book in the city archives in Tallinn, Estonia).

[for those of you who just joined us, you can find an explanation of my book binding project, plus more of my books in this series here ]

Tegumentum Cinereum (hereafter known as T.C.) has an envelope style front flap, two thin wrap-around straps, and a decorative buttonhole stitch on the spine. The original was created in 1539, and had a parchment cover.

I decided to do my version with a leather cover. Here is a photo of the unstitched cover, next to Monica Langwe Berg's book Bookbinding: Limp Bindings From Tallinn ( my inspiration for doing these bindings).

For the decorative stitching on the spine, I once again dusted off some cobwebby memories of doing embroidery when I was a child. The book spine has long and short stitches, and a buttonhole stitch that goes straight across the middle. Here is my practice buttonhole stitch on a card:

I was aiming at a chunky-looking buttonhole stitch, rather than a finely stitched one. The practice stitching turned out nicely, and I was feeling pretty pleased with myself, that is until I started doing the same stitch on a book spine. It wasn't as easy as doing it on a flexible leather cover as on nice, flat card. Still, I persevered, and in the end, it came out well, I think. Here is the finished T.C.:

And a front view of same:

Next time: Tegumentum Candidum!


PrairiePeasant said...

I am enjoying reading about your bookbinding project, and your finished books are just beautiful! Thanks for sharing this on your blog. :)

Suze said...

Another beautiful book. I'm enjoying reading your journey through this project.

And I agree...thank you for sharing it. :)

Acornmoon said...

Oh, I like this one the best. I like them all but this is my favourite so far. It's amazing how many variations you are getting.

moonandhare said...

I'm glad you're all enjoying the project--it's been a lot of fun for me, too. As I'm making them all for the first time, I never know myself how they will turn out, and I love sharing the results with you. :)

The next four designs are a bit more elaborate than the previous four, so that will be a good creative challenge.

Velma said...

Just wanted to comment on how handsome this binding is. Lovely combination of materials. Also, the terra cotta and green binding is very attractive. Have you done any in vellum?