Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

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shell gold

Gold leaf that has been reduced to powder form by grinding it with honey, which is then washed away. It is used to produce powdered effects on leather bindings, to repair or restore gold tooling, and for gilding manuscripts. Very early gold "tooling" of the Near East may have been shell gold, or something like it, painted on the leather. The name derives from the mussel shells it was once stored in. Today it is available in tablet form. See also: GOLD-POWDERED BINDINGS . (152 , 236 )

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