MacTaggarts books

During the eighties Peter and Ann MacTaggart published some short books (Mac & Me pub., the same who published John Barnes’ “Makimg a soinet by traditional methods”):

  1. “Laying ad decorating harpsichord papers” (by Peter alone);
  2. “Practical gilding”;
  3. “Painting and marbling harpsichord cases”.

Now, Mac & Me beimg defunct many years ago, the n. 2 has been re-published by Archetype, a London-based publisher devoted to art, materials, techniques etc.: Our Titles > Practical Gilding. This book does exist in a readable but not downloadable file (I assume, legally) on Practical gilding : Mactaggart, Peter : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive. You must have a payed account in order to read it.

However nos. 1 and 3 are nowadays out of print and hard to find on the second-hand market (when you find them, they’ll cost much more than when the were published).

The two books do merit a republishing on paper and maybe in electronic format, free or under payment.

There probably are plenty of non-harpsichord-specific books but these booklets are a gem. If copyright was not an issue, I’d say let’s prepare a file and put it on a print-on-demand platform at the lowest price, or just make a downloadable pdf. But who knows what the rights situation is.
(by the way, has made the file publicly readable, and Archetype publ. has simply made a facsimile edition of “Practical gilding”, so maybe the right have expired or the heirs have given their permission).

However, if you find these booklets, grab them.

Not so, as far as I know. You can simply register an account. There is no subscription fee or charge there. I use it all the time.

You are right. Sorry for the imprecision. I was inadvertently logged out, I use it all the time as well.
However, there must be some issue with the rights, because I usually freely read and download books from there (older books, I mean, with no rights issues), while with this one the procedure is the following:

  • Log in (previously register if you are not registered yet).
  • Click on “borrow”. This is the first time I see this button. You can borrow for an hour or for 14 days. It’s free either time span.
  • Then you can read for the chosen time span but can’t download.

The borrowing is freely repeatable, though.

It’s an image scan of the pages, a bit dark. You can’t select and copy text. The search function does work, however.

Dear Domenico

Atelier Marc Ducornet purchased the sole rights to reproduce the Mactaggart Flemish paper patterns, and also has the three Mactaggart books for sale.



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Good to know, they don’t say anything on their website about the books (which by the way I own since about 1997 or 1998). Thanks for the info.

I stayed an entire day chez Marc Ducornet in 1999 or maybe in 1998. He was an exquisite guest, I had lunch with him and his staff, they explained me a lot of things. Marc even invited me to return again the following day but I had to take my flight home. A wonderful day for me.