Making the Deluxe Edition of 

American Decorated Publishers' Bindings, 1872-1929
Volume 2: The Second Exhibition

Collected and Described by Richard Minsky

(click the title above to view the gallery installation)

The Deluxe Edition is not available online, but scroll down to see how it was made.

Above: The cover of the Deluxe Edition of the catalog is adapted from the 1914 Rockwell Kent design on Architec-tonics. The image is printed on canvas on an Epson R1800 in six colors with archival ink, overstamped in 22K gold on a 10-ton Kensol hot stamping press. Each panel was sprayed with UV filtering clear finish and lacquer prior to stamping.  

In order to register the gold stamping properly four dots were printed on each panel outside the image area.  Holes were pierced in the canvas at each dot, and a jig was made using push-pins that held the printed canvas in the precise location in the Kensol press. This was an adaptation of the method used on hand presses since the 15th century (or so) to register pages on the tympan.

The "case" is made separately and covered in Japanese bookcloth. The finished print is then trimmed to size and glued into a recessed panel in the front cover using Jade 403 PVA and pressed. A piece of binder's board cut to the size of the recess is placed over the panel and the cover is inserted in a nipping press for three seconds.

The pages of the book are printed on 13" x 19" sheets in the Epson R1800. Each sheet of paper has to be hand fed, one sheet at a time.  It takes 15 minutes to print each sheet on both sides. The folded sheet makes four pages of the book, and 3 folded sheets are assembled into a 12-page section, or signature. The book has 9 signatures. 

The sections are then hand sewn with beeswaxed 18/3 Irish linen thread onto linen tapes.  Below is a stack of six books sewn onto the tapes.

The tapes are then pulled through, allowing enough for each book's attachment to the covers, and are cut apart.

Endpapers are added and each book is trimmed in a 19" Challenge hand-lever paper guillotine, then rounded and backed with a hammer. The edges are hand gilded with Armenian bole and 23K Manetti gold leaf.


Headbands are added at the ends of the spine, the spine is lined with mull that extends an inch or so on either side of the spine (for reinforcing the cover attachment) and a hollow paper tube of Canson Mi-teintes is glued to the spine. The hollow back is then glued to the spine strip of the case, and the endpapers are pasted down (open) onto the insides of the case. The book is placed between grooving boards in the Bertrand Frères percussion press. During this operation acid-free blotter and a polyester moisture barrier are placed between the pastedown and the free endpaper.

The finished book is wrapped in a cloth dust jacket and inserted into its slipcase, which has thumb cuts for easy removal of the book. Every operation in the production of this edition was done by Richard Minsky, except the slipcases, which were made by Michael Roger Press in Middlesex, NJ.

click here for details of the Limited and CD-ROM Editions

If you missed the first exhibition, copies of that catalog are available.

You may be able to read a copy of the first catalog at a library near you.
Look at the list of institutions that have the catalog in their collection.

Pre-publication subscriptions are now available for the catalog of the third exhibition.

To continue the exhibition, click one of the sections or a button