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[BKARTS] Question inspired by: Unopened leaves



> -----Original Message-----
> From: Book_Arts-L [mailto:BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx]On Behalf Of
> Terry Belanger
> Sent: Saturday, February 28, 2009 6:07 AM
> To: BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Subject: [BKARTS] Unopened leaves
>
A wonderfully informative discourse on page trimming - thanks!

I have a related question. From time to time I encounter (as a bookseller)
late 19th-early 20th C books that have obviously "faux" deckled edges. In
particular, I took on a collection of books for a friend that his
grandfather had acquired in the early 1900s when he built a new house and
"furnished" a library. There were many sets of "Limited Edition" books from
publishers such as the Grolier Society and other Franklin Mint types of the
day....lavish looking productions using cheap papers, chemically-produced
"marbled" endpapers, inexpensive leather, and so forth. The Limited stuff
was nonsense: if an edition sold out, they just changed up something like
the binding color and issued another "Limited" edition with a different
name - author's edition, autograph edition, and so on. None-the-less, some
of these sets sold for very good money to gullible people who wanted an
impressive library on their bookshelves. Some actually had top edge gilding,
others did not. Some had gilded tops and "deckled" fore and foot edges.

BUT - it's the business of the "deckled" edges that raises the question.
This often looks like a machine grinding of the page edges. The first time I
saw this on some books, I thought perhaps some individual was dressing up
his library by running the page edges through a saw or router of some kind
to make them look more impressive. Now I have seen enough examples from
various sources to suspect that it was yet another publisher/binder trick
that was standard for a certain type of book. In the worst cases, some of
the ground-off paper clings in the grooves, and some of the grooves are very
distinct and tend to end before the foot of the text block edge leaving a
kind of abrupt second-pass line.

Needless to say, this is a terrible dust-catcher and also prone to tearing
if pages are turned carelessly - a useless "enhancement."

Does anyone know if it's true that this was intentionally machined, and if
so what kind of saw/grinder was used, and for how long this misconception
persisted?

Thanks, Lee

Lee Kirk
Cats are composed of Matter, Anti-Matter, and It Doesn't Matter

The Prints & The Paper
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