flakes of old pasty crust left in old Shakespeares, and candle
drippings. There are "thin stains," as of mud, scaling-wax, ink,
dust, and damp. To clean a book you first carefully unbind it, take
off the old covers, cut the old stitching, and separate sheet from
sheet. Then take a page with "fat stains" of any kind of grease
(except finger-marks), pass a hot flat iron over it, and press on it
a clean piece of blotting paper till the paper sucks up the grease.
Then charge a camel-hair brush with heated turpentine, and pass it
over the places that were stained. If the paper loses its colour
press softly over it a delicate handkerchief, soaked in heated
spirits of wine. Finger-marks you will cover with clean soap, leave
this on for some hours, and then rub with a sponge filled with hot
water. Afterwards dip in weak acid and water, and then soak the
page in a bath of clean water. Ink-stained pages you will first dip
in a strong solution of oxalic acid and then in hydrochloric acid
mixed in six times its quantity of water. Then bathe in clean water
and allow to dry slowly.
Some English recipes may also be given. "Grease or wax spots," says
Hannett, in "Bibliopegia," "may be removed by washing the part with
ether, chloroform, or benzine, and placing it between pieces of
white blotting paper, then pass a hot iron over it." "Chlorine
water," says the same writer, removes ink stains, and bleaches the
paper at the same time. Of chloride of lime, "a piece the size of a
nut" (a cocoa nut or a hazel nut?) in a pint of water, may be
applied with a camel's hair pencil, and plenty of patience. To
polish old bindings, "take the yolk of an egg, beat it up with a
fork, apply it with a sponge, having first cleaned the leather with
a dry flannel." The following, says a writer in "Notes and
Queries," with perfect truth, is "an easier if not a better method;
purchase some bookbinder's varnish," and use it as you did the
rudimentary omelette of the former recipe. Vellum covers may be
cleaned with soap and water, or in bad cases by a weak solution of
salts of lemon.
Lastly, the collector should acquire such books as Lowndes's
"Bibliography," Brunet's "Manuel," and as many priced catalogues as
he can secure. The catalogues of Mr. Quaritch, Mr. Bohn, M.
Fontaine, M.M. Morgand et Fatout, are excellent guides to a
knowledge of the market value of books. Other special works, as
Renouard's for Aldines, Willems's for Elzevirs, and Cohen's for
French engravings, will be mentioned in their proper place.
Dibdin's books are inaccurate and long-winded, but may occasionally
be dipped into with pleasure.
THE BOOKS OF THE COLLECTOR
The easiest way to bring order into the chaos of desirable books,
is, doubtless, to begin historically with manuscripts. Almost every