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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 easiest way to bring order into the chaos of desirable books,

is, doubtless, to begin historically with manuscripts.  Almost every

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