While leafing through my reference collection, in particular my new copy of the Heftlade (published by Ernst Collin for the Jakob-Krause-Bund), I found an article in German by Paul Kersten about "Curious Binding Materials," (Vol. 1, Nr., 1, 1922 (9-13) in which Kersten discussed a number of what he considered highly unusual and large unknown animal-based materials Binders might use. Among these was also fish. Kersten began with his mentions of fish starting with eel skin, a material we first learned about from "Fips."
|"Fips mit seiner Aalhaut | "Fips" with his eel skins|
In writing about eel, Kersten cites Johann Gottfried Zeidlers Buchbinder-Philosophie Oder Einleitung In die Buchbinder Kunst (1708), one of the earliest German binding manuals. In that, beginning on page 121, Zeidler describes the strength of the skin, and its ease of preparation - pull off the skin, stake out, and let dry, just like "Fips" did, but without degreasing. Because of the size of eel (long and narrow) it was really only suited for smaller books. Kersten also mentions that he has never seen a book bound in eel skin.
|Kersten zitiert Zeidler zur Aalhaut | Kersten quotes Zeidler on eel skin.|
Kersten also mentions other kinds of fish, among them cod, that he compares with calf vellum, the most durable of all binding materials.
|Kersten über Kabeljau | Kersten on cod|