Before we dive into the review of the literature, below the key attributes of the Pappband structure, what we in the English speaking world refer to as the "German case binding" or "Bradel".
- Simple, often hooked endpapers that include guards/stubs/waste sheet for gluing down frayed out cords or other sewing support such as vellum or leather.
- Rounded and backed to around 45 degrees
- A spine piece of heavy card, later of separate strip for spine adhered to heavy paper
- large enough to act as wrapper for brochures
- Spine structure/formation was also used for parchment bindings.
- "Gebrochener Rücken", "gebrochen" from “brechen”, to brake (bend/fold as in sheet metal)
- Spine piece shaped, rounded, and adhered to guards/stub
- Boards adhered to spine piece at base of shoulder
- Boards and spine piece trimmed to final dimensions
- Put down ends/case in.
- Later, would also be worked as case binding using same components.
Like many early bookbinding manuals, the German manuals are minimally illustrated and written for a trade that would have learned the techniques starting as apprentices working at the bench under the guidance of journeymen and masters. Those manuals would have served as references. If illustrations were included, they were generalized depictions of binderies with various processes shown, such as frontispieces, some diagrams for e.g. folding signatures or of tools, and fold-out plates that showed a variety of tools. That changed in the mid-/late 19th century when in addition to diagrams, they were illustrated with the latest in bookbinding and related machines, sometimes including the hands of the maker and operators. Readers would have been familiar with what was being described. They are far removed from many of today’s manuals with step-by-step, fully illustrated instructions.The manuals would begin by describing foundational steps such as beating, folding, and sewing in general terms, followed by specific binding types, referencing the steps, especially where they differ. The appropriate endpaper construction for these “Pappband” bindings would be selected from the simpler ones, often plain, but also colored. These could be hooked around the first and last sections, be a plain double folio sections, and later, a tipped-on folio. There could also be a combination of hooked paper guards and/or waste sheets, and later sewn cloth hinges that might be selected. Spines would be lined after rounding/backing and endbanding with strong paper, or in the case of heavier books parchment or cloth under the paper that might extend onto the guards.
Zeidler in his Buchbinder Philosophie oder Einleitung… (1708) describes sewing the text on cord/vellum/leather slips, rounding and backing and lining the spine with parchment or linen strips between sewing supports and extending beyond spine. The sewing supports (cords frayed out) would then be adhered to a guard/waste sheet that was part of the endpapers. A wrapper for the book would be made out of one piece of card fit to the shape of the text block at top and bottom of the shoulder. This would be attached to the text via the guard or waste sheet (Ansetzfalz). Finally, it was trimmed tight to the text, like what would later be called a brochure. The same process of shaping the spine was also applied to lined parchment when that was used as a covering material. (pp. 100-03)
|Oevres du Comte Alagrotti, Berlin, 1772.|
A simple wrapper. Just one small step from a Steifbroschure.
Note folds at shoulder, sewing supports under hooked pastedown.
From the collection of Jeff Peachey.
|Title page to Zeidler, 1708.|
|"Rückenbrechen" in Prediger, p. 113.|
|Title page to Prediger, 1772.|
|Title page to Bücking, 1785.|
[s.n.] Anweisung zur Buchbinderkunst, (1802) writes that after backing…, fray out the cords and paste/glue down on stubs (Flügel/Falz) (pp. 128-9). Next, create the wrapper from one piece of board. To measure width of spine, flatten the spine of the text block, mark, and break/crease (brechet, gebrochene) at shoulder and to the outside of the first creases to create the wrapper.
|"Brechet" and "gebrochene" from Anweisung, p. 138.|
|Title page to Anweisung, 1802.|
|"Gebrochen", "gebrochener Rücken" in Greve, p. 327.|
Discussing tools for backing and shaping the spine, Greve mentions the use of a Kaschiereisen and Kaschierholz (Frottoirs) (pg. 214-15) in addition to the hammer. He is also the first to mention edge trimming rules (Kantenlineal) (p. 329) that facilitate cutting even board squares. The springback, an English invention is also mentioned. (p. 336)
|Title page to Greve, 1823.|
|Bradel in Le Normand, pg. 139.|
|Title page to Le Normande, 1832.|
|Title page to Schäfer, 1845.|
In a later edition (1865), he describes the original one-piece construction of this spine piece, but for the first time, the 2-piece construction we now use where the spine stiffener is glued to a piece of heavier paper. In this, the spine stiffener is cut from card to the width of the spine and glued onto a wider strip of heavy paper so that the width would be equivalent to that of the then traditional one-piece spine piece. Like the traditional, it would be edge pared and adhered to the guards. Like Greve it mentioned adjusting the board position for the thickness of the covering material. Thon was also the first to describe this structure for use as a case binding, suggesting that one attach the spine piece to the guards with two dabs of glue, then attach the boards, cover, and pop off to stamp the cover or spine. Before this, labels would have been used. The case is then reattached properly and the ends put down. Thon also described creating the case without the connecting strip, mentioning that this was suited to mass production and that a hollow could be used to secure it to the text block. (pp. 331-342)
|On the left, the "ur-Bradel one-piece spine, on the right the later|
2-piece. The image is from the first book structure I learned
and bound during my 1984 internship in Nuremberg.
|Title page to Thon, 1856.|
|Title page to Brade, 1882|
Adam was one of the most prolific German bookbinding instructors and authors of the late 19th early 20th centuries, arguably responsible for much of the codification of techniques that resulted in Luers, Rhein, and Wiese.
Both versions of the spine piece (1-piece card, 2-piece paper and card) and the method of attachment were described in Systematisches Lehr- und Handbuch der Buchbinderei (1882) and Der Bucheinband, seine Technik und seine Geschichte (1890).
|Title page from Adam, 1882.|
|Title page to Adam, 1890.|
|"Gebrochener Pappbandrücken" (1898) at left,|
translated as "spring back" (1903) at right.
Note that the "spine stiffener" is to the inside of the connecting paper strip.
|Title pages from Adam, 1898 & 1903.|
H. Bauer’s Katechismus der Buchbinderei (1899) written in the form of a dialog describes the spine piece as being made from 2 pieces of card, one the width of the spine, the other wider. As with this structure, the narrower piece was adhered centered to the wider piece. Unlike most other descriptions (excepting Greve (1823), C. Bauer (1903), and A. Franke (1922), it was only adhered to the guards from the outer folds at the base of the shoulder only. (pp. 137-39)
|Title page from H. Bauer, 1899.|
|Title page from C. Bauer, A. Franke ed., 1903.|
|Title page from C. Bauer, A. Franke ed., 1922.|
and “simplified” built up on the text block. There is also the explanation I was given by Suzanne Schmollgruber, formerly of the Centro del bel Libro in Ascona, CH, is that in modern usage, the "Bradel" is now used to describe bindings using the "gebrochener Rücken" that are built up on the text block, whereas "mit aufgesetzten Deckeln" is used to describe the "three piece case binding" variety.
- Caswell, Bexx and Patrick Olson. "Germany and the Modernization of Bookbinding: Evidence from Michigan State University's Criminology Collection." Found in: Miller, Julia (ed.). Suave Mechanicals: Essays on the History of Bookbinding. Volume 5. Ann Arbor: The Legacy Press, 2019.
- Cloonan, M. V. Early Bindings in Paper: A Brief History of European Hand-made Paper-covered Books with a Multilingual Glossary. Boston, MA: G.K. Hall, 1991.
- Frost, Gary. (1982). "Historical paper case binding and conservation rebinding". The New Bookbinder, 2, 64-67, 1982.
- Pattison, Todd and Graham Patten. "Confusing the Case: Books Bound with Adhered Boards, 1760 –1860". Found in: Miller, Julia (ed.). Suave Mechanicals: Essays on the History of Bookbinding. Volume 5. Ann Arbor: The Legacy Press, 2019.
- Rhodes, B. "18th and 19th century European and American paper binding structures: a case study of paper bindings in the American Museum of Natural History Library". Book and Paper Group Annual, 14, 51–62, 1995.