Classic Books Rebound in a Seventeenth-Century Style

In addition to binding and restoration services, I have a unique range of newly rebound classic books for sale. Exclusive to the Abbey Bookbindery, these books have been stripped down and re-covered in full calfskin leather in a traditional 17th-century style.

I have not looked for first editions. They are generally expensive and, where possible, collectors look for first editions in their original bindings. I am offering something different for collectors and admirers of classic, beautifully bound books.

I have tried to choose fairly good-quality older editions with the following criteria:

  • Well-known novels published around 75 – 150 years ago.
  • Printed on a reasonably good-quality paper (I would like these books to last many generations).
  • Produced in sections; the pages are sets of folded sheets sewn together at the spine. (Over the last 50 years or so, many modern hardback novels have had their spines chopped and glued, similar to paperback books).
  • I try and avoid a book that has been written in, especially on the title page.
  • I don’t mind a few marked pages or a little foxing (staining caused by impurities in the paper) but would like this to be at a minimum. It all adds to the age and character of an old book.

My aim is to remake classic books by hand, using traditional tools, in a manner that evokes binding styles and techniques of the 17th century. (Alright, I don’t go so far as to bind by candlelight; that could result in crooked lines and wonky wording!)


The books have been:

  • Stripped back to their original sections
  • Resewn by hand using the finest linen thread on recessed hemp cords
  • Rebound in full calfskin leather over fine millboard with raised bands on the spine

Each book features:

  • Handmade marbled endpapers (no two sheets of these papers are ever exactly the same)
  • Silk cane head and tail bands 
  • Silk marker ribbon
  • Gold title and author
  • Blind lines and tooling to spine
  • Blind lines and tooling to front and back boards
  • A clamshell-cloth-covered slipcase for protection, customised to each book (sliding a calfskin leather binding in and out of a normal-style slipcase will eventually mark the soft calf)

Each binding will be one of a kind, the only one in the world bound like this.

Book one in the range is The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame. For more information, please click here.

Book Two in the range is Moby Dick by Herman Melville. For more information, please click here.