Historical vellum bindings and the opening of our studio

On the 1st of December Siberiana & Co. organized a one day workshop on XVIIth century vellum bindings, called “Vellum binding according to Dirck de Bray’s ‘Short Instruction in the Binding of Books‘ (1658, Haarlem, Netherlands)”. The event was oriented to the proffesionals and advanced bookbinders.


The main goal of the workshop was to present to Lithuanian community of bookbinders a material of the course “Dirck de Bray and Beyond” which tuitors were conservators and bookbinders from USA, Anne Hillam and Maria Fredericks. Originaly it took place in Italy as a part of the Summer Programme 2018 of The Montefiascone Conservation Project on 13-17th of August, 2018. Siberiana’s participation in this course was funded by Lithuanian Council for Culture.


Besides, our event was also the first public opening of our new bookbinding studio in the wonderful place in the center of Vilnius. It was also the very first workshop organized by Siberiana Books and oriented to the professional reconstruction of the models of historical bindings.


During that day, step by step, according the one of the oldest manuals on bookbindery,  we made a tiny model of vellum binding. This type of binding was also called spitsel binding or trade binding and became extremely popular at that time all over the world. During the process we used old style pasted boards, handmade headbands, parchment, wheat flour paste and animal glue.


Most of the book conservators have seen variations of this binding type in different libraries. However, there’s still a lack of condensed study of these casual types of bindings because most of the historical studies on bookbindery until very recently were focused on beautiful, precious and antique bindings, often rich in decoration or made by famous bookbinders.


That’s why we thought that practical sharing of this kind of information, kindly provided by Anne and Maria, would be very useful for the most of professional bookbinders and book conservators of Lithuania in their day to day work.


We wish to thank all the participants for creating the wonderful atmosphere and a joyful epiphany of the common work and our profession.


The workshop was beautifully photographed by our lovely assistant Liuda Drižytė.



This slideshow requires JavaScript.