Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

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aqua regia

A mixture of nitric acid (HNO 3 ) and hydrochloric acid (HCl), in a solution of one part of the former to three parts of the latter. Aqua regia was used in making so-called "killed spirits," largely in the 18th century, to impart a wine-like tint to red marbling color. The "killed spirits" were produced by adding a block of tin to the acid solution, which resulted in the formation of tin chloride (HNO 3 + HCl + Sn = SnCl + NO 2 + H 2 O) (152 )




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