Robson, A Sketch by George Augustus Sala, 1864
This Victorian sewn paperback was miraculously complete after 156 years, but over time the volume had begun to fall apart. Both the front and back cover pages had torn loose, the former taking the title page with it. The spine covering had almost completely worn away leaving the sewing exposed and vulnerable. The client decided that the value of this book was in its appearance but also its ability to be read and referenced safely, meaning stabilization of fragile elements was more important than leaving the book "untouched".
After the title page was carefully separated from the front cover, all loose pages were flattened, consolidated with a 5gsm tissue, and patched with an acrylic-toned tissue. The textblock was re-assembled and relined, and the covers were re-attached with tissue hinges to encourage smooth opening. Finally, the spine was re-covered with a thin strip of toned tissue to match the book's original appearance.