Conservation of Codex Glaser 123

Cover before conservation

Fly leaves before conservation

Cover after conservation


The codex showed an overall very worn condition. It had suffered water damage leading to cockling and mold growth. The contact with water had also made the boards split into separate paper layers.

The cover leather showed losses and tears as well as damage from former restorations. The binding, the spine and the head bands were damaged and in a desolate condition. The text block showed worm holes and insect excrements as well as numerous tears and losses.

The binding was made in Turkish style, it is covered with two different goat leathers. “Den-Dann” which surrounds the medallion is painted in light ruby-colour and gold. The reliefs are painted in light and dark ruby-colour on a golden background. In the Turkish book binding tradition this type of binding is called “semse-binding divided at the bottom”. The motifs of the reliefs in the covers are of the same colour as the leather. The deep sections are covered in gold. The covers are framed by golden borders. A small motive in the same style can be found on the flap, “mikleb”.

Treatment report

Both covers were separated from the spine. The sections and sheets were taken apart and dry-cleaned under a fume hood. Sheets showing tide lines were individually cleaned with cotton swabs and methyl cellulose. Several sheets including the guards were disinfected with ethanol 70% in water. Methyl cellulose was applied on all the pages around the text. Tears and losses in the paper were filled with Japanese paper. At last all the sheets were sprayed with ethanol 70% in water and put under weight in order to flatten them.

The sections were re-assembled and the text block was stitched in traditional manner including additional end papers. The spine was reinforced with linen and paste. New head bands were stitched following the pattern of the original.

The loose paper layers of the boards were consolidated with paste. The losses in the leather were under-laid with matching leather, the joints and the intermediate piece were reinforced with very thin silk. Finally the leather was treated with leather dressing. A special slip case made of acid-free board was produced for the codex.

last update 12/2/2015