Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

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gilt marbled edges

The edges of a book that have been marbled, burnished, sized, gilded, and then burnished again. When it is properly done, the marble can be seen through the gold. In the usual case, however, the marbling is barely perceptible when the book is closed, but appears faintly when the leaves are fanned. This is because the marbling colors penetrate slightly into the paper giving the effect very much like the hiddenFORE-EDGE PAINTING , although the two techniques are completely different.

Gilt marbled edges is a French invention of the 17th century, and is usually attributed to (LE) GASCON .

It is sometimes found on English bindings from about the middle of the 18th century, but it was never used extensively. (236 , 241 )

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