Judging a Book by Its Cover: Gold-Stamped Publishers' Bindings of the 19th Century

III. Traditional Designs > Introduction

Many publishers' bindings were not pictorial, but rather imitative of traditional bookbinding designs. This imitation could be extreme, where the cloth was given a morocco (leather) grain, and the gold design was meant to look like the tooling on hand bindings. Often the traditional design was used as an expression of good taste or restraint, suitable to the subject or genre of the text, or the publisher's public image.

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