About

Who we are

Bob Roberts grew up in the antiquarian book business surrounded by rare books and has been binding since 1994. His finely tuned sense of period-correct materials and techniques comes from a lifetime of handling books from many centuries, and his bindery “The Gilded Leaf” has restored books from the 1400’s to the present. Working from a shop connected to his home, Bob enjoys the quiet beauty of eastern Tennessee with the lovely Caroline, six children, and assorted small animals.

The Shop

Time-travelling bookbinders would feel right at home  here, as the tools and techniques for fine bookbinding have remained unchanged for centuries. We have a great selection of antique type, decorative tools, presses, and equipment  for binding any book in any style from any century. (Click for pictures of the bindery)

The Process

Unlike a modern, mechanized bindery, the work of restoration must be done by hand, and that’s just as true for our reproduction work. Paper is folded and sewn by hand, and texblocks are rounded, backed, bound, and decorated with hand tools using techniques that would be familiar to the original binders. That’s not because we don’t like technology, but because modern bookbinding techniques aren’t as sturdy as the handwork we employ for holding the pages together, and because a machine can’t reproduce the type of leatherwork and tooling needed for quality work. Leather must be traditionally pared, headcaps, corners, and joints must be set by hand, and tooling must be done just like it was originally. (Click here for pictures of traditional hand bookbinding techniques)

Other Bindings For Sale here.

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