Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

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Aldine style ( Italian style )

A style of bookbinding originated by Aldus Manutius but not restricted to the books printed by Aldus or his family. Aldine bindings, which were produced during the late 15th and early 16th centuries, were characterized by the use of brown or red morocco; by solid-faced ornaments with no shading (which were similar to those used in printing the text); and by title or author in simple panels in the center of the upper cover, which could be read while the book lay on a shelf or table. Early examples of the Aldine style were tooled in blind with an outer frame and a center ornament. Possibly because of the Greek binders Aldus employed, as well as the fact that gold tooling (probably) originated in the Near East, Aldine tools display definite signs of Eastern origin. Early Italian bindings convey a consistent feeling of the shape and proportion of the book, which is demonstrated by: 1) the use of border and panel as schemes of design; 2) a remarkable sense of the value accorded ornamentation; 3) the areas of leather left undecorated; and 4) restraint in the decorative detail with the result that it was always in proper subordination to the overall effect of the embellishment. See PLATE IV . (124 , 172 ,280 , 334 )




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