Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

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chain lines ( chain marks )

The widely spaced watermark lines, about 25 mm apart, parallel to the shorter sides of a sheet of laid paper, caused by the "chain wires," i.e., the wires to which the finer laid wires of the MOLD (1) are attached for support. They usually correspond to the position of the bars or ribs of the mold to which they are often fastened. Occasionally, the shadow of the rib can be seen on either side of the chain line. Generally the chain lines run vertically in the leaves of a folio, horizontally in a quarto, and again vertically in an octavo. Sometimes, in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, this rule is reversed because of the use of a split sheet, or the use of a double mold, resulting in "turned chains." (69 , 136 , 225 )




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