It’s May 29th: Restoration Day (in the past a public holiday) – or more popularly Oak Apple Day, in tribute to the colourful account of the future Charles II escaping from the Parliamentarians after the Battle of Worcester by hiding in an oak tree. While not all book/paper conservators will necessarily celebrate the restoration of Charles and the monarchy after the Interregnum we do like an oak gall or oak apple, or anything to do with ink! In case you didn’t know oak galls (and other galls) were used to make the standard/common ink used in Europe from the first millennium till the 19th century.
During our walks and breaks we’ve found quite a few examples of oak galls of different sorts, and even a live gall wasp.
The Woodland Trust has put together a good identification guide:
And the Chantry Library has Edward T. Connold’s 1908 classic British Oak Galls, gifted to the library in 2018. Connold, an amateur scientist who earned his living as a grocer, is credited with discovering new galls e.g. on plant roots, and wrote various other volumes on the subject. His plant gall collection was left to the Hastings Museum.
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