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  • raised bands

    The cords sewn across the back of the book to keep the gatherings together, when covered with leather, form raised bands on the spine. The finisher often emphasises these raised bands with gilt rules either side or a gilt decorative roll across the raised band itself. In a book with a smooth back, either from flat stitching or recessed cords, the illusion of raised cords under the spine can be created, if desired, by gluing strips of leather or thick board to the back before covering.

  • re-cased

    The entire text block of a case-bound book has been removed from its case and reinserted. This implies that some restoration to the bookblock has taken place while it was out of the case, perhaps re-sewing, and that the re-casing will necessitate restoration of the ties or cords that keep the bookblock in place, and perhaps paper restoration to the inner hinges or repositioning of the endpapers. The end result may be difficult to distinguish from a copy left undisturbed in its original case, but we always note when such a repair has been executed.

  • rebacked, rebacked to style

    To reback is to replace the damaged spine of a binding or book. “Rebacked to style” means that the spine has been replaced with new material matching the original as closely as possible. “Rebacked with the original spine laid down” means that the spine has been lifted away from the original binding and preserved, a new backstrip inserted, and the old spine laid down (permanently fixed) on top of it, thereby preserving as closely as possible the original appearance of the binding.

  • rebound

    The book has been put into an entirely new binding, which may or may not resemble its first binding.

  • recornered

    The outer corners of the boards have been restored with new leather or cloth.

  • recto

    The front of a leaf. The right-hand page of an open book is the recto of that leaf, and is faced by the verso of the preceding leaf. In a conventional book, the page number of the recto is an odd number.

  • relined

    The endpapers have been renewed.

  • repair, restoration to dust jacket

    A repaired dust jacket has a nick or tear closed, probably with some kind of adhesive, but there is no added paper or colour. A restored jacket has added paper and/or colour.

  • roan

    A soft flexible leather prepared from sheepskin, used chiefly in bookbinding as a substitute for morocco.

  • rubbed

    The binding has suffered some superficial abrasion but the underlying material does not show through.

  • ruled in gilt, roll

    The simplest binder’s roll-tool, the fillet, produces a single straight line. Boards which are decorated all round with a single gilt line are said to be “ruled in gilt”. Rolls are fillets with wider surfaces, on which an ornamental pattern has been cut.

  • russia

    Calfskin dyed a distinctive pinkish tone with birch oil, usually “diced” (that is, ruled or embossed all over with a lozenge pattern); popular in England around the latter part of the eighteenth century, but unfortunately prone to weakness at the joints.