French shell marble
A marble pattern developed in the latter part of
the 18th century. and particularly identified with
France. The pattern is formed by adding oil to the
color, which then instead of spreading evenly,
forms in drops with an outer circle or "shell" of
a lighter shade. Brown and orange as the vein
colors and a French (body) color of blue seem to
have been the most frequently used colors. Shell
papers are commonly found as endpapers of calf-
and half-bindings of the early 19th century.
Later, when the art of marbling deteriorated, the
shell pattern was executed on very thin paper of
poor quality and used for cheap trade bindings.
The pattern was a popular for marbling the edges
of books. (217 , 236 )