A Hypothesis for the Physical History of Characteristics Vol II

The book I chose to analyze for bibliographic content was Characteristics Vol II: An Inquiry Concerning Virtue and Merit by Anthony Ashley Shaftesbury. Upon analyzing the book at first glance it was obvious to me that this book had been rebound since it had a nice shiny cover. However, what turned out to be interesting was that upon looking in the gutter of the book there was clear signs of prior sewing that was still intact. The sewing method did not appear to be stab stitching. The margins of the rebound book were quite small (especially the inner margin). Another interesting point to make about the type of paper used in creating this book would be the visible brown pulp on the pages. The pages of the book seem to have been kept in good conditions because there is no visible sign or smell of mold or rot.

The book was made with laid paper as indicated with the visible chain and wire lines. The chain lines are running horizontally while the wire lines are running vertically. All pages are opened in this case as the book has been previously trimmed. Therefore, there are no deckle edges. Regarding the signatures of the book, it appears to be marked with a letter beginning wit “A” and continuing to “A 3” before three blank leaves follow. The signature then starts over and begins with “B” in the same pattern. There were not any visible watermarks viewed in the book. However, this does not mean that there was not once a watermark on the pages (keep in mind the pages with trimmed tightly to the text block).

From this information, I hypothesize that this book was printed in the format of quarto. This book has 336 pages and 168 leaves. If a quarto format produces 4 leaves of paper, then this would mean that this book was created from 42 sheets of laid paper.

Front Cover of Book (New Binding)
Sewn Pages and Small inner Margins Due to Rebinding
Horizontal Chain Lines and Vertical Wire Lines



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