Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

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A leather covered with minute scales bearing short spines. It has been used frequently as an abrasive material and was popular during the 18th century for covering boxes of various types. For this latter purpose it was usually vegetable tanned, with the spiny scales being ground down leaving a slightly roughened surface which, under magnification, could be seen to be composed of tiny, detached, lozenge-shaped scales which sparkled. Sharkskin was usually stained black. See also: SHAGREEN . (291 , 351 , 363 )

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