IOBA Q & A Column


Black Beauty 1877

Black Beauty 1877

Q. I have a 1905 copy of BLACK BEAUTY with a nicely illustrated cover. I think I see the initials “DD” intertwined near lover edge. Is this the mark of a book illustrator I should know about?

A. The intertwined D’s is the signature of the firm of The Decorative Designers of Henry and Lee Thayer (who also wrote mystery novels).

Q. Sometime back, I purchased a wonderful tool. It removes price stickers and other adhesive based labels with the help of a little Goo-Gone or similar product. It is about 6″ long with a red handle and rectangular shaped blade. I’d like to buy several more and have lost ordering information.

A. Tool found. Following is a link to the website where they can be ordered directly:http://home.pacbell.net/peelerco/order.html

Q. Could someone enlighten me as to the proper term for older illustrations done in brown and white tones. I have seen the term sepia used a lot for this. Is that the correct term?

A. Sepia is a color, not a technique. The origins of the word sepia comes from the Greek word for cuttlefish (Soupia) which was the source for a natural ink which faded to brown over time. So “sepia” is used to describe printed materials where the ink is a soft brown, rather than deep black.

Q. Is there a simple method of restoring slightly bowed covers (boards) to their original position?

A. I find success with my copy press, but encyclopedias work as well. You can try adding a damp paper towel backed with a piece of plastic wrap to the inside cover. Take it out after a few hours and replace with a dry paper towel and new piece of plastic wrap. The moisture will loosen the paste and as it dries the board will bend back into its original shape.


Our thanks go to Joyce Godsey, William Cole, June Samaras of Kalamos Books, Sara Armstrong – Books, Pam Brown, Sandy Portella, Terry from Books and Spirt. Hope we haven’t left anyone out.

Jean S. McKenna – Books. Chairman Education Committee

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