Welcome to my website.
The true art of traditional bookbinding has long been lost to all but a few. Since the industrial revolution paved its way through the world highlighting the word "progress", the need for literacy and education grew to such an extent that hand bookbinding was gradually replaced by machines. As the demand for the printed word accelerated, the advancement in technology and development grew to meet its needs.
A bindery in the 18thC may have had between 100 and 3000+ workers. 100 men producing say 5 good quality plain hand bound leather books per week would take a month to produce 2000 volumes. A casemaking machine would produce then, say 20 cases per hour in cloth or paper with one man to set and run it. This was the decline and fall of traditional hand bookbinding.
This is my bindery in Oak Bay, Victoria BC, it also comprises a small rare book shop selling rare books from the year 1500 upwards.
These 2 styles are both in the Royal binding category. the one on the left is a 1st ed Don Quixote bound in the style of Queen's binder "A" and the one on the right is the last Elizabethan Genevan Bible bound in the style of Elizabeth's own binder. I have used upto 4000 impressions of tools between both books.
This is George Bayntun's family Bible. George Bayntun was the Royal bookbinder to Queen Mary and in 1939 he formed an alliance with Robert Riviere who were bookbinders to Queen Victoria. These two world famous royal bookbinders formed the company Bayntun-Riviere in England who are very much still in business, so the question begged, why did they send it to me?
The Bible was passed on to George's brother who changed the spelling of his name to "BayntOn" for reasons known only to himself and the Bible was commissioned to me by George's great neice. The Bible has had extensive conservation to the text block (see following pages for examples of my restoration work) and I have bound it in the style of Thomas Cobden-Sanderson using 1000+ tools each on the recto and verso sides and 1000 tools on the spine.
This is one of three 1st edition, 1st issue Dickens private investment libraries I am building and restoring. The return on investment for rare books is the same as fine art between 10 and 12%. As I combine fine art with rare books some of my clients have been very surprised and delighted after a re-evaluation.
Germanic Mitre using the same tools on the spine as the verso board.
Three styles using some of the same tools.
The colours I've used here are fermented black plums with cherry and cochineal. The fruit goes through a fermentation process of about 4 months to extract the colour, then it is made light fast and a mordant is added.
The Cambridge panelled calf is the most requested style of binding I am asked to produce. Using 3 colours, oak bark, oak bark with saffron, and crushed green walnuts. Tooled using the "lost wax" method of the 17thC, this style has been popular for nearly 400 years and this version is unique to my work.
These are some of the esoteric Grimoires I produce.
And of course my version of the Ninth Gate or the Nonus Porta as it should be called.
I ferment my own dyes from plant extracts, these colours are black plums, cherry and cochineal.
Same style, different colours.
The 2014 Angel Grimoire
1611 first issue Faerie Queene with inlays
First edition Paradise Lost
page to be completed but you can continue your journey here
Next page How to gild a Royal binding.