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  #1  
Old 07-26-2018, 03:42 PM
ThomasL ThomasL is offline
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Default To Cut or Not To Cut??

Usually Im on the side of not cutting up things to seperate the autograph, but recently I purchased a J Roy Stockton signed copy of "The Gashouse Gang and a couple of other guys". The book is heavily damaged, mainly water damage and animal (likely a dog) chewing damage. The inscribed and signed page is in good condition but faded some likely due to the water damage (ghost image of the writing is on the opposite page) but still strong.

In this case would it be better to remove the signed page from the book or is it still more valuable left as is even though the book is in horrible condition?





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Old 07-26-2018, 04:16 PM
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Lordstan Lordstan is offline
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I usually agree with you with regard to not cutting up items, but this case is a little trickier i think.
I can think of a couple choices that all depend on value both objectively and subjectively.

1) Have the book restored professionally. Probably expensive to do, but professional restorers can work magic on these things. I have no idea how rare the book is or how much his sig is worth, so i can't answer for sure if it would be worth the money. Subjectively, if the signed book means that much TO YOU, it might be worth it.

2) Find another copy in nice condition and see if a profession restorer could insert the page into the nicer book. Probably less expensive than first option, but again is the book and sig worth the expense, I don't know.

3) Leave the book alone. Cheapest option. Personally not what I would do. If the book is that important to you, maybe it's best.

4) Cut the page out. If all you want is the sig, then perhaps is the best option.

It all comes down to how much it means to you to have the book and sig together.
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Old 07-26-2018, 04:48 PM
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I would do a variation of #2 on Mark's List. Find a better copy and either have a professional book binder or restorer mount the page in the book, or, I think what I would do, put the autograph page in something like a mylar sleeve cut to size, and just looseleaf that into a nice copy of the book.
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Old 07-26-2018, 06:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lordstan View Post

2) Find another copy in nice condition and see if a profession restorer could insert the page into the nicer book. Probably less expensive than first option, but again is the book and sig worth the expense, I don't know.
As a very amateur signed book collector I would lean toward this myself. I don't know much of the value of a Stockton signature, but I may even try it myself.
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Old 07-26-2018, 07:03 PM
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There are several of what look to be nice copies of the book available at reasonable prices online. The idea of ‘transferring ‘ the signature page over sounds pretty neat. Good luck with whatever you decide.
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Last edited by commishbob; 07-26-2018 at 07:05 PM.
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Old 07-26-2018, 07:47 PM
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I'm a trained bookbinder. I've restored nearly 100 books. Some as old as the 17th century.

Restoring this book would be difficult and time consuming.

If you want to keep the book in the original binding, the corners would need to be repaired. That's time consuming work and would require brand new gray cloth to be placed over the repaired corners. Finding the right color would be a challenge and if not available, white cloth painted the precise shade of gray will do.

Next, the spine. It's gone. That's bad. If the spine cloth were still there, you could re-back it by reinforcing the sewing and then laying the spine cloth over it. If the sewing is broken and the signatures are slitting apart, then resewing the book would take another hour or two before the spine can be rebacked.

Basically, after the work is done, the book will look a lot nicer and more presentable, but most of it won't be original anymore. New cloth around the corners, and new cloth over the spine.

You could also rebind the book entirely, with new sewing and new cardboard covers. Then you can pick a nice cover design, perhaps leather.

Taking the page out with a razor and tipping it in to a better copy is the fastest way. This can be done in minutes. However, the discoloration of the paper will make this transplant obvious and may not be visually appealing.

In a case like this, rebinding it may actually increase it's value.

Are the page corners chewed up like the covers? If yes, then transplanting the page may be your best option.
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