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Re: Non-gold foil

Ron Koster wrote:
 what I was looking for was what *was* used
> traditionally, say, in the 18th or 19th century, by hand bookbinders, what
> would be a *typical* alternative "foil" in place of gold foil -- especially
> if there was one type/colour that was used more than any other (after, of
> course, gold). Like, is there such a thing as "silver foil"? I have no idea.


To the best of my understanding, stamping foil as used today is a late
nineteenth century development, to be used in blocking presses, like charles
described, on cloth trade bindings . Prior to that there was something called
"blocking powder" which was sprinkled onto blind impressions and then hit with
the heated block again. Otherwise, there was gold leaf, i.e., beaten gold.
Instead of silver, which tarnishes, there is palladium leaf; but I don't know
how long it's been in use.I believe the use of gold on bindings originated in
Islam, and was gold pigment applied to impressions in the leather.  I'm sure
there are others on the list who are more knowledgeable in the histroy of
binding and who can further clarify this.


Don Rash fine bookbinder
50 Burke St.
Plains, PA 18705
email: DNRash@xxxxxxxx
<There are monkey boys in the facility...>

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