Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

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nonpareil marble

A marble pattern consisting or red, black, yellow, blue, and buff, executed on a size of gum tragacanth. The red is dropped first so as to cover the entire surface of the size, followed by the black, yellow, blue, and buff. A peg rake the length of the trough is drawn across the surface, followed by a fine comb drawn from left to right across the width of the trough. The paper is then laid on. The reversed nonpareil is executed in the same manner except that the comb is drawn from left to right and then back again.

The nonpareil marble represents a revival of the early comb pattern. It came into use in about 1838 and was used throughout the middle of the 19th century for endpapers and later for cover papers on all classes of stationery bindings. It was also used for edge marbling from about 1840 to the 1920s when edge marbling virtually went out of existence. Nonpareil marbles were less artistic than the earlier combs, and, although executed by hand, suffered from a sort of mechanical appearance. (217 , 236 , 369 )




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