New Books for April 2013

The following two titles have just arrived for the Chantry Library collection :

– Suave Mechanicals: Essays on the History of Bookbinding (Volume 1) edited by Julia Miller, The Legacy Press, Ann Arbor, Michegan, 2013, 522pp plus DVD. ISBN: 978-0-9797974-5-3
Nine authors writing on nine topics. This collection of essays, published as the first volume of a series of studies on the history of bookbinding, sets a high standard for interesting and groundbreaking scholarship in the history of the book. Fully illustrated in colour images, with additional images on accompanying DVD.

The essays included are:

Evyn Kropf – Historical Repair, Recycling, and Recovering Phenomena in the Islamic Bindings of the University of Michigan Library: Exploring the Codicological Evidence

Sylvie L. Merian – Colonial Blankbooks in the Winterthur Library

Robert J. Milevski – A Primer on Signed Bindings

Julia Miller – Not Just Another Beautiful Book: A Typology of American Scaleboard Bindings

Jeffrey S. Peachey – Beating, Rolling, and Pressing: The Compression of Signatures in Bookbinding Prior to Sewing

Martha E. Romero – European Influence in the Binding of Mexican Printed Books of the Sixteenth Century

Jennifer W. Rosner – Papier-Mâché Bindings: “Shining in Black and Gorgeous with Peal and Gold”

John Townsend – The 1715 Mohawk Prayer Book: A Study of Six Copies in Colonial American Scaleboard Bindings

– Blue Pigments: 5000 Years of Art and Industry by François Delamare, Archetype Publications, London, 2013, 442pp. ISBN: 978-1-904982-37-1
In the natural world, blue rocks from which objects can be fashioned are rare – a few marbles, lapis-lazuli and related rocks, and minerals containing copper. However those which, once ground, can be used as pigments are exceptional. Only lapis-lazuli and azurite come to mind. The long absence of blues from the palettes of our distant ancestors is therefore easy to explain as is the fact that blue pigments have always been an expensive commodity which became the objects of a very lucrative trade, spanning continents and oceans.

The primary goal of this book is to show how much ingenuity man has needed to employ in order to make blue materials. From Egyptian blue to copper phtalocyanine, ranging through Maya and Han blues, smalt, blue ashes, Prussian blue and artificial ultramarine, we cannot help but be in awe of the variety of technical solutions found. Each civilization has produced its own solution, or sequence of solutions. Thus one can say that blue pigments can be considered as markers of civilizations.

Contents pages:

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