Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

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light Italian marble

A marble pattern characterized by a network of fine veins or lines. The usual marble of this pattern consists of four colors, each successive color requiring more gall and water than the preceding, so that each will spread into large spots in such a manner as to drive the other colors into veins. When the different colors and gall water have been properly adjusted to each other and dropped on the surface of the size, clear gall water, of an even stronger concentration than any contained in the colors, is sprinkled evenly over the entire surface; this drives the colors into the fine hair veins for which this marble is noted. Light Italian is closely identified with the country from which it derives its name, being found often as endpapers in Italian books of the late 18th and 19th centuries, and occasionally as cover papers. The size for this marble is usually a mixture of gun tragacanth and flea seed. (217 )

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