Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

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ecclesiastical bindings

A German style of bookbinding in the medieval fashion which became very popular in England following the marriage of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 1840. It was used especially for devotional and theological works. Its principal features included thick, heavy, bevelled boards (occasionally papier-mâché was substituted for wood), which were sometimes bevelled only in the middle of each edge, leaving the corners in full thickness. The books were covered in either calfskin of a khaki or brown color or brown morocco and were heavily tooled in blind or black, often with the medieval thin-thick-thin triple fillet. The bindings had OXFORD CORNERS , bright red edges (or gilt over red, and sometimes dull gilt edges which were thenGAUFFERED ), heavily rounded spines and marbled endpapers in the Dutch pattern. The books were sometimes fitted with clasps. While the bindings were generally well executed, the unusually heavy boards frequently caused the cords to break, resulting in the text block falling out of the hollow-backed "case." Also called "antique," "monastic," or "divinity" bindings. (236 )

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