Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

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spatter papers

Another form of PASTE PAPERS . A very thin mixture of colored paste is applied to the paper by rubbing a stiff paste-charged brush across a hair sieve, which is held well above the paper and moved across the surface of the sheet as the fine specks of color are sprayed through it. Three or four colors are generally used in making these papers, which are often executed on a colored paper background.

This simple form of decoration was used for the sides of half bindings in calfskin and sheepskin in the early 19th century. They were produced all over Europe until about 1850, and were used as endpapers in books with marbled-paper covers but seldom for bindings in full leather.

A variation of this paper, used in France, England and the United States in the latter part of the 19th century, consisted of dull gray-blue or lavender-purple paper spattered with coarse black spots. This was done by striking a brush filled with color on a bar and distributing the color as it fell over the surface of the paper. These papers were used as covers for inexpensive books but seldom for endpapers. The earlier examples had a dull finish, but others, used mainly for music scores, had a glossy surface. This type of spatter paper was sometimes hung up before it was dry, the surplus color running down across the paper in uneven streaks. This dribbled pattern is almost always found in tones of brown or orange and black, and is considered by many to be less appealing than the simpler spatter papers. (217 )

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