Each book presents its own history and needs its own solution.
Generally I will try to retain as much of the character of the book as possible, to bring it as close to its original condition. For example, if the original spine lettering is in place it can often be restored to its former glory with careful dyeing and treatment.
The normal rule would be to replace like with like, unless the client favours a different solution. Cloth and leather can both be used to match the original closely. Where lettering has faded with age suitable buffing can restore the original gleam.
Restoration intends to return the book as nearly as possible to its original condition. If a book needs resewing then I will use the original sewing stations and copy the original style as closely as possible.
Endpapers are often damaged. My general rule is to save these where possible. With new technology it is possible to make good quality copies to retain the original design. Where this is not possible new endpapers can be designed and added to be sympathetic to the book in hand.
Many older books had paper labels. These can be copied in as close a typeface to the original as possible. They can be printed on old or dyed paper to make the label appear in keeping with the age of the book.
Please see the photos to the right which show an example of restoring a presentation folder. The pages were marked with mould and red stains from the cloth joint. It was improved greatly by gentle cleaning and renewing the cloth joints. The outer leather was rebacked and the boards were repaired with new leather. The colour was evened out and then it was treated to a restorative finish and buffed up. Please click on the images to enlarge
For restoration of carriage clock cases, jewellery boxes and leather items, please see examples in the gallery.