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Re: goldleaf


I add the following from my experience with gold leaf, for the record.

1.  Patent gold leaf is in no way inferior to sheet leaf, the difference
being that the gold is actually attached to a thin sheet of paper in order
to allow its use by sign painters and sign gilders and others who must work
outdoors.  Sheet gold is absolutely intractible in even the slighest draft,
as anyone who has worked with that material will attest.  So, patent gold
is a variety of gold leaf, not a poor cousin to the <<real thing>>.

2.  Sheet gold is kept from attaching itself to the interleaving of the
books in which its is sold not by a dusting of armenian bole, which is the
color of rust, which is what it is, iron oxide, also known as burnt sienna
or russett, when it is sold as a pigment, but by chaulk, or talc.

3.  The talk is used, the chaulk is used because it is white and more
easily picked up after, should the bane of any gilder occur, spilling some
of the dust onto the work in hand.   Can you image doing the same with a
pile of rust dropped onto a folio of uterine vellum--pure white unborn calf
skin.  Yep!!!!

4. Gold leaf is also sold by color, as, Lemon Gold, Pale Gold, Extra Pale,
Deep, Double Deep and probably a few I have forgotten.  Hey, give me a
break!  Colored gold is made by adding to it varying quantities of other
metals (silver, copper, etc) before it is beaten into sheets of  single or
of double thickness, which is a modern distinction, and one not known
throughout MOST of the 19th Century, at least among bookbinders and

5.  Incidentally, I have known sign painters who called patent gold "glass
gold" becasue they used it for the lettering on the glass doors in real
old-time office buildings, like those peopled by the Mickey Spilaines of
the world, and a few attorneys, dentists, doctors, collection agents and
whomever else.  They used it in this application because the door, often
attatched to the opening it closed, bore the surface on which they were
impelled to work in a vertical aspect, not horizontal as with bookbinders
and illuminators and calligraphers.

And that's the truth, as Lily Tomlin used to say!!!

don guyot      colophon@xxxxxxxxx

> From: norman kretzmann <nk25@xxxxxxxxxxx>
> To: BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Subject: goldleaf
> Date: Sunday, April 05, 1998 9:57 AM
>         I've always wondered exactly what constituted the differences in
> goldleaf between, say the XX Regular, the XX Glass (selected for glass
> gilding, I know), and the XX Patent, when they're all 23karet?

>                                         Barbara Kretzmann

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