Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

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Etruscan calf ( Etruscan style )

A method of decorating calfskin bindings by acid staining, so called because of the contrasting colors or shades of leather (light brown or terra cotta) in conjunction with dark brown or black tooling. The terra cotta shades and decoration represent Greek and Etruscan vases. Etruscan bindings usually have a rectangular panel on each cover, or, occasionally, a plain oval with a classical urn in the center. They are tooled in black, surrounded by a border of Greek palmate leaves, which are also in black. and with outer borders of classical design (Grecian key or Doric entablature) tooled in gold. The spines are also decorated with classical ornaments.

Many 19th century authorities attributed this style to John Whitaker: however, it seems more likely that it was the creation of WilliamEDWARDS OF HALIFAX .

There appears to be no very conclusive evidence as to the origin of the style, but it is known that Edwards employed it at an early date, circa 1785. It was popular during the period 1785-1820. (69 , 94 , 97 , 158 , 280 )




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