Black Cat Bindery

Black Cat Bindery
Black Cat Bindery. Traditional Craft Bookbinders

Friday, 5 April 2019

Antiquarian books

Just thought I would share with people the kind of books we get in for a bit of TLC.
Looking around the bindery I found this pile of lovely looking books and thought it would be a little snap shot of what we deal with in the bindery on a weekly / monthly basis.
We restore antiquarian leather and cloth books as well as make clamshell storage boxes for the really special editions.
Some books just need a little clean while others are here to be restored and /or boxed.

Our clamshell storage boxes are handmade using double thickness boards with interlocking corners for strength and rigidity. Covered in a multitude of different fabrics or leathers we can produce a box to suit any book or occasion be it for storage purposes or a presentation evening. 
Below is a little video of a little cloth covered storage box for some rather lovely poetry books by Gustav Regler. Printed and bound in Mexico in 1943. illustrated by Alice Paalen and Louise Vogeler-Regler. One is signed by Regler and Paalen and is copy number 12 of 50. The pair of books also come with a photograph of Regler at a dinner party.......... I love a bit of history

We can also make storage boxes to look like leather bound books. These can stand on your library bookshelf and echo the look of book it is protecting. No more horrid, ugly storage solutions.

Monday, 27 August 2018

A bookbinding colleague of mine, Iraj Navidi,  living and working in Iran, has produced this beautifully bound book. Bound in traditional style using natural Iranian colours. Highly embellished on both front and back boards as well as on the spine.
Due to sanctions on his country he has been unable to market this book, world wide and so I offered to put the details up on this blog as he would like to be able to sell it. Please share to any platform if you wish or contact myself or Iraj by email for more details.
  • Sanctions says

  • Donald Trump has warned America’s trading partners that anyone who does business with Iran will not be doing business with the US, after his administration reimposed blanket sanctions.
    The US president described the new sanctions, which hit Iran’s access to dollars, gold and precious metals, as “the most biting ever imposed”. 
    “In November they ratchet up to yet another level,” he tweeted. “Anyone doing business with Iran will NOT be doing business with the United States. I am asking for WORLD PEACE, nothing less!”
    Within hours of the sanctions taking effect, the German carmaker Daimler, which announced a joint venture in Iran last year, said it was halting its business activities in the country.
    The punitive measures came into force in the early hours of Tuesday, and follow Trump’s decision in May to renege on the landmark 2015 deal to curtail Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
    These hard hitting sanctions affect the working population meaning that life becomes intolerable { Iraj's words }

Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám is the title that Edward FitzGerald gave to his 1859 translation from Farsi to English of a selection of quatrains (rubāʿiyāt) attributed to Omar Khayyam (1048–1131), dubbed "the Astronomer-Poet of Persia".
FitzGerald's work at first was unsuccessful, but was popularised by Whitley Stokes from 1861 onward, and the work came to be greatly admired by the Pre-Raphaelites. In 1872 FitzGerald had a third edition printed which increased interest in the work in America. By the 1880s, the book was extremely well known throughout the English-speaking world, to the extent of the formation of numerous "Omar Khayyam Clubs" and a "fin de siècle cult of the Rubaiyat".[1] FitzGerald's work has been published in several hundred editions, and it has inspired similar translation efforts both in English and in many other languages. { Wikipedia}

Book cover made of goat leather. Size 23 * 34 cm. Made with hand. Using natural colors of Iran without the use of chemical and industrial colors. The book is in five languages: English-French-German-Arabic and Farsi.


Monday, 30 July 2018

Leather table planners / seating planners
Handmade by Black Cat Bindery, Somerset, UK

This bespoke leather Table Planner is the perfect dinner party companion. Ideal for those who loves hosting dinner parties. A lovely centre piece designed for fine dining. You can freely arrange the seating plans for your guests, swapping things around at the last minute if someone cancels or requests to bring an extra guest. Just pop the name card between the leather panels to hold them securely. Also makes for a great housewarming gift.
Our traditional seating planner is bound in genuine  leather with gold hand decorative tooling on front. It measures approx. 19” x 9”. A house or family name can be embossed in gold in the middle of the planner, included in the price.
Colours available are the classic racing green, which compliments the gold tooling beautifully, the rich scarlet red, traditional tan and a beautiful mid blue.
We can also source further colours, if needed, from our supplier.
The seating planner is lined, on the back, in a moire cloth and housed in a velvet bag. 
We also include a bundle of blank name cards.
Some examples of recent planners below

We also make matching personalised leather napkin rings.

Company logos and family crests can also be embossed onto the centre of the seating planner.

We can also make table planners to bespoke sizes and shapes

Friday, 28 April 2017

Presentation storage boxes

Bespoke clamshell storage and presentation boxes hand made to order.
Perfect storage solutions which are both beautiful and useful. 
Keeps items dust free and away from damaging light.

These boxes are covered in leather and linen with a rounded book spine. Raised bands on the spine with gold lettering and decorative tooling

Half leather storage box with marbled paper sides. Leather spine labels and decorative gold tooling

Thursday, 29 September 2016

 This post is going to be more of a call for information.
I have this lovely Japanese book with illustrations of plants. I have been told that its title is "Encyclopedia of Flora " but this is all I know. It would be lovely if I could find out a little more information so if you know the book or can translate any of the text I would love you to get in touch.
 It belonged to my Great Aunt, Tania Midgley, a garden photographer and came to me along with her extensive library.
Ive also popped some pictures on our Facebook page as well at

                                                              Encyclopedia of Flora