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Bookbinder's knife | by edinburghcityofprint
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Bookbinder's knife

Bookbinder's knife. Diamond steel blade with wooden handle.


Accession Number: hh.3625.5.72


Finishing tools primarily could be divided into two categories: rolls and stamps. Rolls consisted of wheels with continuous designs engraved on the circumference, used to create long lines. Fillets–which made plain, straight lines–were the most common rolls. A binder would own several line fillets of different gauges, as well as fillets containing anywhere from one to four parallel lines. Whether working in leather or cloth, binders finally tooled the design and title into the material by making impressions with heated finishing tools. After making a blind impression, the binder sometimes pressed gold leaf into the indentation with the same tools.


Edinburgh City of Print is a joint project between City of Edinburgh Museums and the Scottish Archive of Print and Publishing History Records (SAPPHIRE). The project aims to catalogue and make accessible the wealth of printing collections held by City of Edinburgh Museums. For more information about the project please visit

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Taken on November 12, 2009