Learning From The Past: Using Original Techniques To Conserve A Twelfth-Century Illuminated Manuscript And Its Sixteenthcentury Greek-Style Binding At The Monastery Of St Catherine, Sinai

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Publication Type:

Conference Paper


Honey, Andrew; Pickwoad, Nicholas;


Conservation and the Eastern Mediterranean: Contributions to the 2010 IIC Congress, Istanbul, p.56-61 (2010)


This paper describes the conservation treatment at the Monastery of St Catherine, Sinai of an illuminated manuscript preserved in an important but severely damaged sixteenth-century Greek-style Sinai binding. The conservation treatment aimed to restore functionality to this binding with minimum intervention enabling the important manuscript to travel to an exhibition. The repair techniques eved during treatment as the two conservators studied and used the techniques of the original binder. The repair included the partial in situ re-sewing of the manuscript, working around and supplementing the original sewing, and reattaching the wooden bookboards. The primary endbands were repaired to preserve and support the unique secondary metal-thread endbands and a new method was devised to repair an interlaced clasp-strap. The planning, as well as the working methods and techniques described, highlight new avenues both for the conservation of Byzantine manuscripts and for future conservation at this important library.