Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

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French curl marble

A marble pattern that has been used for endpapers, particularly in France, since about 1660. The pattern is made on a marbling size of GUM TRAGACANTH , and the colors are dropped on in the same manner as with theNONPAREIL MARBLE .

The curls are made with the use of a wooden frame constructed in the form of a small harrow, each parallel bar being set with as many tapering wooden pegs as there are curls required on the sheet to be marbled. The difficulty in executing this pattern is to "catch" the curls before they lose their shape.

Many fine armorial bindings have the large red and blue pattern as linings. Padeloup and Derome both used this pattern for endpapers in books they bound for the French nobility. The French curl pattern remained popular, and continued to be used in Europe and England until about 1870. While it was highly valued for endpapers, it was rarely, if ever, used for cover papers on 17th and 18th century books. (97 , 217 )

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