Soester Fehde - "Sturm auf die Stadt"

Here are some fotos I took during the Soester Fehde-Reenactment 2009 on sunday, the 23th of August:

Reading the "Kriegsordnung der Stadt Soest" to the defenders of the city

The defenders are ready

loading a handgonne

on station with the canons


trying to go over the citywalls

You're not gonne go over my part of the wall!

They've got a cat!

But now it burns...

breakout of the defenders

treating the wounded

Soests burgers plundering the dead attackers

cleaning up after successfully defending the city

15th century fighting manual

Here is what I made out of the pages Tomasz gave me to finish: (klick)
A Kopert with a velum cover, a flap-and-lace closure and simple stitching through the covers back.
This type of binding was often used for books that were supposed to be used by scholars for their studies, therefore they had to be small, lightweight and rather inexpensive to produce. The fighting manual of a guard captain would have needed a lightweight binding, too - and one not to costly...
So I thought a Kopert would be apropriate :-)

To make it a little more nice looking, I used blue instead of unbleached linen thread for sewing and wrapped red thread throught the visible blue threads on the back. There are only three sections (folded pages stacked into each other) to it, so the back is rather narrow, no space left there for any other type of decoration.

Inside, the sections middles are strenthened with strips of parchment. These were often cut from pages of books no longer used. To imitate this, I used a scrap of velum with a poem written on it by Anje (thanks a lot!!). Rather a shame to cut it up - but the scribes and bookbinders of the middle ages seemingly didn`t have these scruples. Sometimes these strenthening strips are a treasure hoard for librarians: A version of the Nibelungenlied was found cut up and used this way!

Giving back this little book to its owner was not really easy, the neat writing in two colours looks great, I definitely want one for myself :-)
Maybe not a book about swordfighting, though - something about beekeeping or animal husbandry would be nice...


Soester Fehde 2009

Last year, I took part in a great reenactment event called Soester Fehde 1444 . Of course as a bookbinder :-)
It was a lot of fun and I finished another Kopert, this time a fighting manual, handwritten after a original from the end of the 15th century.
On the picture I'm discussing the binding with the owner, who brought the finished pages to me.
More picture will follow...

Kopert with decorated back

Some time ago I made a little Kopert (flexible binding with a velum cover) just to have something to show the public on an event called Klosterbaustelle Gerresheim. While I was working at it, Myriam from Diu Minnezit took a fancy for the book and so I finished it for her. Karin, who does beautiful book illuminations, painted a french lilly on the cover.

Have a closer look at it at Diu Minnezit

The outcome is quite nice, don't you think?


Bog find

If you haven't heared about it yet: The Faddan More Psalter is a book from appr. the 9th or 10th century found in an Irish bog in 2006.
It was bound as a libri sine asseribus, a book with a flexible leather or velum cover instead of wooden boards. In german this is called Kopert (from lat. coopertium), a type of binding I'm exspecially interested in. Nothing fancy, this was somehow the medieval version of a paperback...

You can read more on wikipedia: Faddan More Psalter
By the way, the german version of this article was a birthday present from a very dear friend last year :-)


Good morning from the workshop!

Parallel to my website http://www.kopert.de/ this blog will tell you about current projects, visits to museums, interesting literature and other stuff I'd like to share. It won't be all about medieval bookbinding and books - but mostly ;-)

Have fun!

Books looking for help...

My favorite library, the Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Hamburg, owns a lot of interesting old books - some in desperate need of repair. To raise money for restoration they present books on their website. Now that's a great idea - they can find somebody to finance the restoration and I can take a look at treasures they normally hide in the archives :-)

So take a look at Buchpatenschaften

My favorite is Ephraem Syrus: Sermones from the 15th century, a small volume with wooden boards and a simple leather cover.

This charming little books is the inspiration for a Rechenbuch I'm working at at the moment.
Pictures of my version will follow, promised!