Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

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flea seed

A small, brown, hard seed, so called because of its resemblance to a flea. It is boiled in water to make MARBLING SIZE .

It was usually used in combination with GUM TRAGACANTH in the execution of the shell and Spanish marble patterns. It was not (and apparently could not) be used for the drawn or combed marbles, as it dragged the colors and did not allow the comb to pass through smoothly. As it has no advantage over CARRAGHEEN MOSS or gum tragacanth, its use was never extensive and it is seldom if ever used at all today. (217 , 236 , 369 )

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