Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

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graining plates

Plates used to impart a diced pattern to the leather covering of a book. They were invented by John Bohn, a German immigrant in England in about 1796. Early plates were made of brass or wood and were able to impart a deeper impression than that obtained by calendering. Later plates were made of metal. As the lines were placed diagonally in one direction only, two impressions were required to produce the diced effect. They were also superior to calendering in that the dicing could be done following covering. The simple graining plates for dicing soon evolved into more elaborate plates for impressing fish scales, squares, etc. One reason they were popular was their capability for covering blemishes in the leather. 236)

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