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Dario Ustino – Venice’s master of bookbinding


When it comes to the treasured art of bookbinding, Dario Ustino is a true master. One of the more interesting booksellers listing books for sale on AbeBooks is Charta located in Venice, Italy. Charta is the business operated by Ustino and Jeanne Biagi.

The couple moved to Venice in 1975 and opened their ‘art binding’ business.

Charta takes rare books, often around 100 years old, that have seen better days and restores them with a beautiful customized bindings. They also create boxes to house books that are in better condition. Ustino is a self-educated artist who works mainly in decorated leather – all his materials are purchased locally. Rebinding is a lengthy task that can take months to complete just the conception stage.

They only list 51 books on AbeBooks but they are 51 show-stoppers. You’ll find illustrated books, classics from the turn of the century, and esoteric and gothic novels.

Enjoy this video of Dario at work. Anyone visiting Venice should also try to visit the Charta shop on San Marco 831.

Biblia by Charta

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