Replication of an Eighteenth Century Manuscript Binding
The parts of the video demonstrate the replication, step by step, of a copy of a eighteenth-century Arabic Manuscript, IO Islamic 924:
- Sewing the book
- Creating the Islamic style end bands
- Preparing the leather cover
- Recreating the decorative tooling on the covers
- Attaching the cover to the book block
This manuscript is part of a series of four manuscripts that were copied in 1784 for Warren Hastings, Governor-General of Bengal from 1772–85.
At a glance, they appear to be so-called ‘Western style’ bindings but when examined closely they actually bear all the typical features of the so-called ‘Islamic style’ book structure. This mixture of features is likely due to the fact that Hastings, who was living in Bengal when he acquired them, had them bound by a local binder who was instructed to match other books in his collection.