Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

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blind-stamped panel ( blind-stamped binding )

A form of decoration on the covers of a binding impressed by means of an engraved stamp (bearing a complete design) on the dampened leather. Virtually all early plates were cut intaglio (with a three dimensional effect and not as a two dimensional printing block), the resulting image on the cover being in relief. Panels were still being used in (German) bookbinding until well into the 18th century.

The art originated in the Low Countries, and was practiced there from the 14th century on. Characteristic designs consisted of animals in circles or loops of foliage. The art flourished in France from about 1488 to 1528; in Germany, extensive use was made of blind-stamped panels on covers of pigskin bindings, mainly after 1550. The blind-stamped panel was in use in England from about 1480 to 1580, but it was not really popular until about 1500. The most used motifs included the royal arms and heraldic devices. Rectangular panels made with a single stamp continued in use until about 1623.

Because of the great pressure required to impress a complete design, a standing press of some kind must have been used.

The most commonly used leathers for these bindings were calfskin and pigskin. (140 , 166 , 236 )

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