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objects > components > bookblocks > cut in boards (bookblocks)
cut in boards (bookblocks)  
  • A bookblock with laced-on boards made of paper which were cut at head and tail with the boards whilst preserving squares on the boards at both edges. This was made possible because the lacing allowed the board to be moved a short distance up and down the joints. If, therefore, the boards were both pushed as far as they would towards one end of the bookblock and the other end was then cut with the boards, when the boards were returned to their original position, they would project beyond the cut edge of the bookblock. The process could then be repeated for the other end. The process had the advantage that the edges of the boards would always be exactly parallel to the edges of the bookblock. The process can be recognised if an exposed head or tail edge of one of the boards has on it the same decoration as the corresponding bookblock edge, as the edges were often decorated as soon as they were cut and while they were still in the cutting press. The fore-edges of the boards would be cut individually and not with the fore-edge, which would be cut on its own with the assistance of a trindle. Fore-edges of books with rounded spines (and therefore rounded fore-edges) were not usually coloured in the press, as the whiteness on the surfaces of the leaves along their edges would show when the round shape was returned the bookblock after it was released from the laying press and the trindles were removed. The edge would be coloured after this, and if the boards were closed, the colour will be found on the fore-edge squares of the boards and not on their edges. If the fore-edge was to be gilded, this would be done in the press on a flat edge, a process known as gilt in the square (gilding in the round is a nineteenth-century development).
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