Kapitalbünde

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The German term used for the single supports found at the head and tail of bookblocks otherwise sewn on double or paired single supports which appear to be unique to German bookbinding (singular: Kapitalbund). Their closeness to the head and tail edges of the bookblock will depend on where the binder decided to cut the edges, but they are most often found within 10mm of the head and tail edges. The edges are, however, sometimes cut so close to Kapitalbünde that they can be decorated with thread in the same way as the secondary sewing of a primary endband, but they must not be mistaken for endbands, even though they occupy the place and perform some of the functions of an endband (hence their name in German - Kapital is the German for endband). They are always attached to the boards, reinforcing board attachment at the critical points at the head and tail of the joints, and will also serve as change-over stations where there are no separate kettle stitches. Books with Kapitalbünde sometimes have unsupported intermediate sewing stations between the Kapitalbünde and the adjacent paired or double supports. Kapitalbünde are found on south German bindings from at least the second half of the fifteenth and the beginning of the sixteenth centuries. In the second half of the latter century, they were replaced by false Kapitalbünde, though these have not yet been recorded on seventeenth-century bindings.

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