Sometimes, as a dealer, there are books that just break your heart. Today, I've got one of these forlorn suckers in front of me (not for the first time) hoping I can come up with a good way to deal with it.
Happily, it's NOT a case of a former owner duct-taping the book into zombie-fication, though I have seen that and it's just not a pretty sight.
What I have is a very nice book that has been attacked by the ravages of time and circumstances.
|Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (1899 copy with illustrations by Tenniel)|
Looks just fine from the front, doesn't it?
For the most part, the book is in great condition. It has all edges gilt (AEG for those of you who read / write catalogues). All the pages are intact. The binding is generally quite nice. It's a solid, clean copy.... but....
|take a close look at the top edge by the corner...|
Yup. Somehow, some way, this copy turned into food for some toothy nibblers.
It's really just random damage to the rear top board corner and top edge. It's not even really horrendously chawed -- but it's very noticeable and off-putting.
|the spine of the book -- sorry for the sideways look|
If that wasn't injury enough, the book spine (along with some of the top rear cover) got splashed by something noxious as well. Don't know what, don't know how - just splashed.
This is one of the books in the consignment collection -- it's a good book -- illustrated by John Tenniel, with wonderfully expressive vignette's throughout the text -- and he's the one who really came up with the "look" of Alice to begin with.
But -- it's in marginal condition at best.
Personally, I think this would make a great copy to rebind in leather. Especially if the binder decided to go all out and design something awesome as a replacement. I've seen some truly spectacular book art done by binders and this book would definitely look better for a little loving care.
I'm going ahead and offering it on my website -- as a starter copy -- I just have to find someone who loves the book enough to give it the tender loving care it needs.
Maybe that person is you.