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An interesting lawsuit that has just engaged the attention of a Berlin Court involved the question of the value of .a book bound in human skin. - An art bookbinder bound a copy of a comparatively worthless book, "The Bony Hand," in real human skin, and gave it to a bookseller to exhibit it in his window for sale. During the absence of the owner on a journey the bookseller sold 'the curio for 73 marks (£3 15/), and upon the bookbinder returning "to town -he demanded 430 marks (£22 10/) as compensation, declaring that the work wa» folly worth such a price. The dispute was brought into court, and the judge invited the opinion of. a master bookbinder, who stated that "human leather" was a • very rare material which possessed a pretty high j value; he knew of .only six books bound in I human skin, and he therefore appraised the value of the 'book in question at 430 to 300 marks. Another expert stated that he had never seen a binding in human skin, but knew from British journals that such rarities were expensive. * It was also mentioned that the Parisian bookseller; M. Dnrbon asked for 600 francs (£24) for such a book. Eventually, upon the suggestion of the judge, a compromise was arrived at in regard to the price, which was fixed at 175 marks (£8 15/), as apparently nobody in Germany could properly appraise such a remarkable book, and it would be too expensive to obtain the evidence of a Parisian expert. '.-., ,t '..-•.,

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Bibliographic details

Auckland Star, Auckland Star, Volume XLIV, Issue 93, 19 April 1913

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BOOK BOUND IN HUMAN SKIN. Auckland Star, Volume XLIV, Issue 93, 19 April 1913