blind-stamping: The technique or product of tooled decoration on a binding in the absence of gold or coloured inks.
borderline: On a map, the borderline is the outer printed line of the border or frame of the map, the inner line being called the neatline.
duodecimo: (12mo, 12º): see format
folio: (2vo, 2º): see format
folio: The leaf of a book numbered on the front, or recto. Between about 1475 and the end of the sixteenth century leaves were commonly numbered in this way, until the practice gave way to pagination, in which both sides of the leaf were numbered. Thus a book of 100 leaves which during the sixteenth century would probably have been numbered 1 to 100 would after 1600 have been numbered 1 to 200.
gauffered edges: The edges of a book, usually gilded, which have been decorated further by means of heated finishing tools or rolls which indent small repeating patterns. It was poular in the sixteenth and the first half of the seventeenth century, after which it fell into disuse until revived in the late eighteenth century. In the late nineteenth century it was much used on devotional books or books with religious significance, such as The Pilgrim’s Progress or Paradise Lost.
neatline: On a map, the inner line of the border.
platemark: The process of intagio printing, i.e. printing from a metal plate carrying an incised design, involves compressing the plate and the dampened sheet of paper in a press under extreme pressure. The paper is thus moulded to the plate, leaving an impresssion of the edge of the plate – the platemark – around the design. The plate edge is bevelled or rounded to reduce damage to the paper. The platemark may be close to the printed image or not, depending upon the relative size of plate and incised area. Thus the absence of a platemark may be attributable to the print being a non-intaglio type, such as a lithograph or wood engraving, or it may be that the sheet has been trimmed inside the platemark after printing.
octavo: (8vo, 8º): see format
offsetting: The process or result of printer’s ink being accidentally transferred from one page of a book to the adjacent page or to a page of another boo, or from one section of a folded plate to another. This may occur either because the sheets or sections were brought into contact before the ink was quite dry, or as a result of a book becoming damp when under pressure. Some offsetting is removable.
original boards/wrappers: see trade binding
pagination: (1) The method of numbering each page, i.e. with each leaf of a book bearing two consecutive numbers. (2) The pagination of a book is a detailed description of its pages. Pages numbered in Arabic numerals are shown thus: 1-345. Pages numbered in Roman numerals (commonly the “preliminaries”) thus: i-xii. Unnumbered pages are enclosed in square brackets: [1-12] or [i-xii]
pochoir: The process of colouring using stencils. The series of fashion prints entitled Les Créations Parisiennes listed on this site were all produced using stencils to colour the plates by hand. The term is ordinarily applied to images produced by this method during the 20C and later, though stencils were widely used to facilitate hand-colouring, for example of maps, in the 19C.
publisher’s binding: see trade binding
quarto (4to, 4º): see format
recto: The face of the right-hand page of a book open for reading. See verso.
trade binding: The binding in which a book is sold to the public by the retailer is a trade binding. If that binding was applied by the publisher before the book was sent to the retailer it may also be referred to as a publisher’s binding. The distinction is important, but with 18th century and earlier books it is often difficult to determine where the binding originated. (Sometimes the word “original” is met with in the description of early bindings, which strictly speaking refers to a binding applied to a book by the publisher. At one time it was thought that before about 1770 publishers only issued books stitched or bound in plain wrappers or boards, but it is now accepted that at least as early as the 17th century publishers issued some books already bound in leather.)
verso: The face of the left-hand page of a book open for reading. See recto.