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Title: Bib-li-op-e-gis-tic (Pertaining to the art of binding books.—Dibdin) - to which is appended a glossary of some terms used in the craft
Author: Unknown
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Bib-li-op-e-gis-tic (Pertaining to the art of binding books.—Dibdin) - to which is appended a glossary of some terms used in the craft" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

  [ Transcriber's Notes:

    Every effort has been made to replicate this text as faithfully
    as possible, including any inconsistencies in the original.

    Italic text has been marked with _underscores_.

  [Illustration: Oliver Cromwell

  Green Levant--inlays of red and black leather. Decorative tooling in


  (Pertaining to the art of binding books.--Dibdin)

  to which is appended
  a glossary of some
  terms used in
  the craft

  With Illustrations of
  Bindings Designed and Executed by
  The Trow Press, New York


The craft of the bookbinder is older than that of the printer. Quoting
from Mr. Brander Matthews:

"Perhaps the first bookbinder was the humble workman who collected the
baked clay tiles on which the Assyrians wrote their laws; and he was a
bookbinder also who prepared a protecting cylinder to guard the scrolls
of papyrus on which Vergil, and Horace, and Martial had written their

Modern art in bookbinding began in Italy in the fifteenth century. The
invention of printing had so multiplied books that the work got out of
the hands of the monks, and workmen from other trades were pressed into
service, bringing with them their skill in working leather, as well as
their tools, and designs which they had previously used to decorate
their work.

At this time the libraries were shelves, so inclined, as to allow of the
books lying on their sides, inviting their decoration. At first the
embellishment was suggested or influenced by the work in the volume, and
very often there would be found on the cover, repetition of the
typographic ornaments used by the printer.

  [Illustration: Carols V. Gerichtsordnung (1597)

  Vine colored Levant--inlays of red and green leather. Interlacing
  bands and decoration tooled in gold.]

But with the associations and influence of the other decorative arts,
there came the use of interlacing bands, scrolls, and geometric designs,
followed by copies of patterns and parts of designs from laces,
embroideries, pottery and ironwork of the times. And with the broadening
in the ideas of decoration, came the use of inlays of leather of
harmonizing colors, and even of precious stones.

While the art was developing in Italy, largely under French patronage,
it was also beginning to flourish in France, where later it reached its
supremacy. So much so that up to the nineteenth century it was "France
first and the rest nowhere."

In no work more than in binding have the French shown their fine
artistic taste, and in the famous collections of the world the choicest
specimens are by French binders of the sixteenth to the eighteenth

France to-day has many binders of great skill and good taste, but no
longer holds the supremacy of the earlier days. England has developed
some craftsmen of great skill and original artistic feeling, even though
their best efforts are many times but reproductions of older models.

Barely fifty years ago America did not have a binder capable of covering
a volume to compare with the work of the artisans of France or even
England. But in that time there have developed shops where work of such
merit is done that it is now no longer necessary to send one's precious
tomes abroad to be properly clothed.

The true book lover as well as the collector desires for his treasures a
suitable binding, and there is to-day an increasing demand for fine
binding on individual volumes as well as on sets.

This demand is not satisfied with "commercial binding" and is too
intelligent to accept extravagant work, extravagant in over-decoration
as well as in price.

The art of bookbinding is now so widely known and the taste and judgment
of the public so thoroughly educated by the efforts of the Grolier Club
and similar associations that good work and good material are
appreciated, genuine and suitable decoration recognized and the best
results obtained in the combination of an intelligent customer and a
skilled and artistic workman.

  [Illustration: The Book of the Presidents

  Maroon Levant--"arms" (Tiffany & Co. design) inlaid in colored
  leather. Plain mitred panels, tooled in gold.]

  [Illustration: The Book of the Presidents--Doublé

  Levant--national colors. Tooled in gold.]

The Trow Bindery

The production of fine bindings is not a new departure with us, but has
been carried on for many years in what has been aptly described as, a
"quality" department of a "quantity" business, where fine work can be
executed at prices that are not prohibitive.

It is under the direction of a skilled craftsman, and the workmen are
encouraged to excel in careful and conscientious work.

Our endeavor is to produce books which are not surpassed for elegance,
elasticity, and durability--the three great requisites of a well bound

With technical knowledge to aid us in the selection of the best
materials, and excellent tools, we strive for that result which is
described as "flawless material faultlessly treated."

The decoration, if any, is designed in complete harmony with the text,
and where warranted, we call to our aid the foremost decorative
designers and artists of the day.

  No. 1. Vellum
  No. 2. Linen
  No. 3. Buckram

  Samples of specially designed "Marbled" cloths

  For sides and linings of half, three-quarter or full leather bindings]

The older models are followed where original designs are not required;
and where simplicity is desired, we hold to the belief in "the
undecorated surface of flawless material," bearing in mind the sobriety
of treatment, but careful execution which distinguishes the best work of
the past.

                   *       *       *       *       *

As a new departure we are showing the use of specially designed cloths
for sides and linings, in place of the German marbled papers and French
"combs," the most of which as Miss Prideaux says "produce the effect of
violent color thrown on wet blotting paper."

Used as sides on half or three-quarter leather styles, the cloth gives
greater durability, as the surface does not rub, nor will the edges wear
off where turned over, as happens with the use of marbled papers.

As linings they obviate the use of the extra cloth joint, which is
unsightly, but necessary for strength with the use of marbled paper;
with their use the folded edge is pasted in the joint, allowing the
cover to be lifted without drawing the end papers away from the book.

Good taste, and harmony of color are assured by their wide variety, and
in addition some new and novel effects may sometimes be secured.

  [Illustration: The Historic Hudson--Doublé

  Green Levant. Pictorial inlay and decoration tooled in gold.]

The Scope of our Work

We solicit the binding of a single volume, in any manner, whether it be
in half, three-quarter, or full leather, with simple or elaborate

We will undertake the binding of a complete collection or library and
will submit quotations where desired, or proceed under an appropriation
by the customer.

We will carefully attend to special instructions for the extending,
interleaving or rebinding of extra illustrated work, presentation
copies, memorial editions, etc.

We also undertake the repairing of any bindings, carefully and
skillfully mending any torn leaves, and properly guarding any loose
sheets or inserts.

  [Illustration: Memorial Volume--Doublé

  Royal Purple Levant. Floral design inlaid and hand colored.]

Glossary of Terms

_Azured._ Ornamentation outlined in gold and crossed with horizontal

_Bands._ (1) The cord whereon the sheets of a volume are sewn. (2) The
ridges on the back caused by the bands raising the leather. _Head Band._
A knitting of silk or thread worked in at the head and foot of the shelf
back of the book.

_Boards._ A temporary binding with a cover made of boards and paper.
_Mill Boards._ The boards that are attached to the book, giving
stiffening to the cover.

_Bosses._ Brass or other metal pieces attached to the covers of a book,
for ornamentation or protection.

_Burnish._ The gloss produced by the application of the burnisher to the
edges after coloring, marbling or gilding.

_Collating._ Examining the signatures, after a volume has been folded
and gathered, to ascertain if they be in correct sequence.

_Dentelle._ A style resembling lace work, finished with very finely cut

_Doublé._ When the inside of the cover is lined with leather, it is
termed a doublé.

_End Papers or Lining Papers._ The papers, plain or fancy, placed at
each end of the volume and pasted down upon the boards.

_Fillet._ A cylindrical tool used in finishing, upon which a line or
lines are engraved.

_Finishing._ Comprises tooling, lettering, polishing, etc.

_Flexible._ A book sewn on raised bands, with the thread passed entirely
around each band, allowing the book to open freely.

  [Illustration: A Century of French Romance

  Edition work. French Levant with colored inlays. Decoration "stamped"
  in gold.]

  [Illustration: A Century of French Romance

  Edition work. Persian Morocco. Semis (powder or diaper design)
  "stamped" in gold.]

_Fore edge._ The front edge of the leaves.

_Forwarding._ Comprises all the operations between preparing and
finishing, including the forming and trimming of the books, and the
covering of the boards.

_Gaufre Edges._ Impressions made with the finisher's tools on the edges
of the book after gilding.

_Gouge._ A finishing tool forming the segment of a circle.

_Guards._ Strips of paper inserted in the backs of books, upon which
inserts are mounted, intended to prevent the books being uneven in
thickness when filled.

_Inlaying._ (1) Extending "extra" illustrations by inserting them in
leaves to correspond to the size of a book. (2) A style of Mosaic work
made by the insertion of vari-colored leathers or other material on the
cover or doublé.

_Kettle-Stitch._ A catch-stitch formed in sewing at the head and foot.

_Lacing-In._ Lacing the bands on which the book is sewn through holes in
the boards to attach them.

_Limp._ A cover without boards or other stiff materials, allowing the
sides to be pliable.

_Marbling._ A method of coloring the edges or end papers in various
patterns, obtained by floating colors on a gum solution.

_Mitred._ Tooled lines meeting at a right angle without overrunning.

_Morocco._ A fine kind of grained leather prepared from goatskin.
_Levant Morocco._ The skin of the monarch breed of goat; a large grained

_Overcasting._ Oversewing the back edges of single leaves of weak
sections; also called whipstitching or whipping.

_Pointillé._ The dotted style of Le Gascon.

_Preparing._ Comprising all the preliminary operations up to
"forwarding," including folding, gathering, collating, and sewing.

_Register._ When the printing on one side of a leaf falls exactly over
that on the other it is said to "register."

_Rolls._ Cylindrical ornamental tools used in finishing.

_Sawing-in._ When grooves are made in the back with a saw to receive the

_Semis._ A diaper design made up of the repetition of one or more small

_Signature._ Each folded sheet or section of a book.

_Squares._ The portion of the covers projecting beyond the edges of the

_Tall Copy._ So called when the book has not been reduced in size by
trimming, with the leaves entirely uncut.

_Tooling._ Impressing the design or pattern in gold leaf, with finishing
tools, by hand. _Blind Tooling._ The impression of finishing tools
without gold leaf.

  [Illustration: Specimen decorative backs for half or full leather
  bindings. Edition work or single volumes.]

Interpretation of Styles


Ornaments of solid face without any shading whatever, such as used by
Aldus and other early Italian printers. The ornaments are of Arabic
character. A style appropriate for early printed literature.


An interlaced framework of geometrical figures--circles, squares, and
diamonds--with scrollwork running through it, the ornaments which are of
Moresque character, generally azured in whole or in part, sometimes in
outline only. Parts of the design are often studded with gold dots.
Time, first half of the 16th century.


A style prior to and contemporary with the early (Italian) examples of
the Grolier. Generally composed of a framework of shields or medallions,
with a design of scrollwork flowing through it. Portions of the design
are usually studded with gold dots. Ornaments are of Moresque character.


A framework of various geometrical-shaped compartments linked together
by interlaced circles; the centers of the compartments are filled with
small floral ornaments, and the irregular spaces surrounding them, with
circular scrolls and branches of laurel and palm. An elaborate style
used at the end of the 16th and beginning of the 17th century.


A design inlaid with different colors. The cover may be of any shade,
but the style is especially effective when the cover is of white vellum
in imitation of illuminated manuscripts.


The distinguishing feature of this style is the dotted face of the
ornaments instead of the continuous or solid line. In vogue the first
half of the 17th century, immediately succeeding the period of Nicholas
and Clovis Ève.


This style has ornaments of a leafy character, with a more solid face,
though lightly shaded by the graver and is best exemplified in borders.
The ornaments are often styled Renaissance, being an entire change from
the Gascon. Time, 18th century.


The ornaments of this style are easily identified, being free and
flowing in stem and flower; whereas before Payne's time they had been
stiff and formal. The honeysuckle is a customary ornament. The
impressions of the tools are usually studded round with gold dots,
whether used in borders, corners, or center pieces.


Without line or ornament either in blank or gold. It permits decoration
on the inside of the cover, but demands absolute plainness on the
outside, with the exception of lettering. It is only appropriate for
crushed levant, being dependent for its beauty on the polished surface
of the leather. It takes its name from the followers of Jansenius,
Bishop of Ypres, who were advocates of plainness in worship.


  Trow Directory, Printing and Bookbinding Company
  201-213 East 12th Street
  New York City

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