John W. Booth Diary: small "upgrade" of Sarednab's replica.

TomVDJ

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
A while ago I bought Sarednab's John W. Booth Diary to add to my National Treasure collection. I wanted to go for the less distressed version so I asked Sarednab not to tear the blue velvet of the "Tickets" and "Postage" pockets, and not to age the borders of the pocket diary (because it looked a bit too distressed on the pictures in the sales thread. I went along with the other distressing of the diary (the red leather on the inside, and the black leather on the outside.

When the Diary arrived, I was quite happy, but a few things bothered me:

1. The aging on the black outside cover was rather aggressive. A bit too much to my taste.
2. On the inside, the white sheet that had to hold the pocket diary in place, was almost plastic like. Due to the smooth surface, it was not possible for me to age it the way I liked using coffee or tea.
3. The borders of the pocket diary weren't even. I guess this had to do with the fact that I asked Sarednab not to touch the borders. Althoug this book is supposed to be from the 19th century, I do think that manufacturers of these pocket diaries would cut the pages even before they sell these, so I wanted the pages to be even too.
4. The picters of the women included in the diary weren't very high in quality. I wanted to replace these anyway (along with the picture of Lincoln).

Since I had some spare time today, I started addressing the issues with the Booth Diary. Starting with the outer cover: a bit of black shoe grease and a lot of patience, made that the aggressive aging was less noticable. The result was much more like I wanted it: used, but not completely distressed:



Next issue was the white "plastic sheet" on the inside of the diary. I decided to glue a piece of 300 grams paper on that sheet, so I had a surface that could be aged more easily. After that, I tried to age that piece exactly as much as the pocket diary itself. I think it came out pretty good. The picture doesn't show the subtility of the aging, but you get the idea. I didn't take pictures of the diary before the changes, but I know that people that own this diary, know what I'm talking about when I mention this white plastic-like sheet. Anyway, this is the result (the mentioned piece is completely to the left, where the pocket diary slides in:



I also sanded down the borders of the pocket diary to get them even, and give them a slightly frayed appearance. After that I aged the borders again with coffee and tea so the edges blend in nicely with the aging of the pages of the pocket diary.

I also thought the Diary could use some extra's, so I made a replica of the ticket of Ford's Theatre on the evening of the assasination (I used this picture as reference: http://www.shapell.org/Data/Uploads/214a-item-page.jpg



Color of the ticket in the picture below is paler than it is in real. Color in the picture above is more like the real ticket



So last thing to do is make better versions of the pictures of the women that were also in the original Booth Diary. For anybody who wants to do the same, you can find high res scans of the original pictures here: Found on Booth | BoothieBarn.

I also order the pin Sarednab offered in the past, to go with the diary. Once I receive this and have the pictures of the women ready, I'll post an update...
 
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TomVDJ

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Although the inside of this diary is pretty accurate, the outside cover is nothing like the original. I guess Sarednab didn't had reference material of the outside cover at the time of production?

This is the original outer cover (much narrower than the replica and with a certain grain in the leather, which is completely not there in the replica): Booth?s Diary Cover | BoothieBarn
 

Sarednab

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
The only thing I know during production of this prop was that the outer leather must be black, but nothing about leather skin/surface
 

Tom1971

Sr Member
The only thing I know during production of this prop was that the outer leather must be black, but nothing about leather skin/surface

Sarednab you made and incredible prop and that game can go on forever. New discoveries are made everyday about our beloved props.



Tom, you made some great additions to the diary. Could you post the image of the ticket???? The link does not work and that is such a totally cool idea.



The thing I wanted to add is, I thought it would be fun to add in the "torn out and burnt page" remnant in the diary and then have the matching burnt page.

Have no clue how to do that???????


Great work to both Sarednab and Tom VDJ

Thanks

Tom
 

KramStaar

Sr Member
I can't find the original sale thread because I wrote about the upgrades I did to my diary there but overall, I heartily agree with TomVDJ's comments.

I was in pursuit of a Booth Diary for years and I jumped onto Sarednab's thread when he posted the work that he was doing. When it arrived, I had similar thoughts to Tom's regarding some of the details. While I know why the replica was made in this way, I didn't like the solution for the front page and the slippery 'plastic' sleeved because - as Tom mentioned - it looks alien to an old book so I replaced the front with a sheet of 200 year old grey card, made a replica of the original front page of the Booth diary (not included in Sarednab's version). While I recognise that this solution is not screen accurate or original book accurate the solution I found looks naturally aged and it opens and closes perfectly - albeit it with a slight split in the page there which is perfectly understandable in a book of this vintage IMO.



With the cover, I also felt that the ageing was far too heavy so I polished it up and re-aged it. I also added painted leather abrasion marks and rounded off the corners of the cover to more or less match the cover on the original diary.



Inside, I took sandpaper to the corners of all of the pages to round the corners drastically. I aged the blue fabric to a very dark blue-black so it didn't look as new. I replaced the paper seen through the torn lining near the Postage and Tickets pockets with genuine period paper and then altered the color of the cold writing so it was less 'gold'. I added more of the leather scuff marks and reworked the ageing on the inside cover - so it was more to my taste.



BTW, jameth1971. I made the torn page and it matches exactly the piece of paper I have with the names on it. Here's a picture of my fragment and how it matches to the inside of my book:



I should say that I still feel this is a tremendous prop replica and that the alterations I did are more to satisfy my vision of how the diary should look. I'm profoundly grateful to Sarednab for making this possible and my apologies to you Tom for slightly hijacking your thread...

Higg regards

MARK
 

Tom1971

Sr Member
Mark, could you explain your burnt page further? Did you use existing torn page fragments because nothing in my Booth diary would work, or did you make the page and the torn section in the diary spine??



This is what I love about prop collecting and modifying stuff like this.

No one can make a perfect prop as new discoveries are made, limitations on production capability, and of course time, but if you have an awesome base as Sarednab has provided you can then customize and tweak to your hearts content.

For instance:

I to felt the white piece did not match as well and replaced it with an aged thick piece.

I want to add the burnt and pre burnt pages

Really want to add that ticket to the play and maybe come up with some inserts.

I might take a swing at doing the sanding of corners and detail on the cover that Mark did as well.


I am in the process of getting my new second Grail Story Diary from Sarednab and I will probably be tweaking it until I die. My last one was very thick due to all my additions and that was just fine with me.

Love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

KramStaar

Sr Member
Mark, could you explain your burnt page further? Did you use existing torn page fragments because nothing in my Booth diary would work, or did you make the page and the torn section in the diary spine??
Sure mate --

I printed a few FULL replica pages (I needed a few in case I screwed up the tearing of the fragment) to the exact diary size and then aged it to match the pages in Sarednab's diary (the same process I used for the front page). Once it was all aged, I tore my page very carefully to replicate the curved rip of the fragment. Once I was happy, with the tearing and the shape of the fragment, I added the names etc as per the movie prop.

Taking the left over small piece of paper torn from my fragment - the edge of the page that would normally have been glued to the diary spine - I prised open the 'torn' pages in Sarednab's diary and glued my page edge fragment in amongst them. That little piece sticks out from amongst Sarednab's original pages and its shape matches exactly the torn edge of my bigger fragment.



It takes a little patience but its not a hard job and provided your page matches Sarednab's originals, it looks 100% convincing.

I hope this makes sense!

Kind regards

MARK
 

Tom1971

Sr Member
Thanks Mark but I'm afraid it does not matter. I just got the notice I was afraid of and I won't have a teaching position come fall as my school won't have enough students so I will be selling the rest of my collection including the Booth Diary and my BOS which is actually Sarednab's personal copy.

Thanks for the info though.

Tom
 

KramStaar

Sr Member
Thanks Mark but I'm afraid it does not matter. I just got the notice I was afraid of and I won't have a teaching position come fall as my school won't have enough students so I will be selling the rest of my collection including the Booth Diary and my BOS which is actually Sarednab's personal copy.

Thanks for the info though.

Tom
Damn Tom, that's incredibly hard news mate - I'm truly sorry!

Heres hoping that things turn good for you again very soon and wishing you all the best of things going forward.

Warm regards

MARK
 

Tom1971

Sr Member
Damn Tom, that's incredibly hard news mate - I'm truly sorry!

Heres hoping that things turn good for you again very soon and wishing you all the best of things going forward.

Warm regards

MARK
Thanks Mark. It's a tough break but the wife and kids are great and that's all that really matters. With my prop money and subbing I will be able to get my wife through school and once that is done financial life will get better, although even with having to ditch my collection my life is still pretty good. I am a very blessed man. After all the props are just colored plastic, metal, material, etc.


Thanks

Tom
 

TomVDJ

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Great work, Mark!

In the meanwhile, I made my "women cards". I used 300 grams, aged paper for the backings, and matt photo paper for the pictures itself, and glued these together. I think they came out pretty well:





Now just waiting for that Booth pin to arrive, and also add a picture of Lincoln. I think Serednab used this one http://img.myconfinedspace.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/12/abraham-lincoln.jpg, and I'll stick to that picture, but on a slightly other way.
 

Tom1971

Sr Member
Re: John W. Booth Diary: small "upgrade" of Sarednab's replica.

Hey Tom,
Can you post a different link to the theater ticket. The one you posted does not work.

Thanks

Tom

- - - Updated - - -

Anyone got any ideas on how to make the diary close??

Sarednab said the real one did not close but I would love for mine to be able to without altering the overall appearance.

A magnet maybe???
 

TomVDJ

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
In attachment the Ticket I used (I printed it in black and white on aged, heavy paper).

temp.jpg
 

TomVDJ

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Will you sell it as one lot, or piece by piece? If the last, there might be some items I'm interested in...
 

Tom1971

Sr Member
Will you sell it as one lot, or piece by piece? If the last, there might be some items I'm interested in...

I am going to list is a a whole set first. If it does not go I will break it up eventually but right now I am having trouble bringing myself to list it.

I am listing all my remaining Star Wars props this weekend along with other stuff and then the last things I will list as far a high end props goes will be my last few Indy props and N.T.
 
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