half and full gilt finishing: W.J.E. Crane 1888

As all combinations are composed of a variety of ornamental tools and plain lines, it becomes of necessity not only a matter of taste but of expense with the binder in the selection of the former; but of the latter, it will be economical to possess himself of such as he will find constantly required, or being newly introduced into almost every design he may wish to execute. The cost of a set of gouges, half-circles and plain lines, will be trifling, and their frequent application renders them necessary. He will also find that a similar set of circles and three-quarter circles, though not so constantly required, are not less requisite where work of a superior character is executed.

Each shape can be had as a single line (broad or narrow), a double line, a dotted line, a thick and thin line, or a thick and double thin line.

… First ascertain the centre of the back. This can be done by measuring at the head and tail with a pair of compasses or spring dividers. By holding a runner to these two marks, the centre of the space between the bands can be marked off with the points of a folder. Now heat the pallet and the tool slightly on the gas stove, and work them in their places with a slight impression only. Next wash the back with some vinegar, and pass over it, with the grain of the leather, a small, hard, clean, short-haired brush. When dry, glair the impressions made by the pallet and tool, applying the glair with a small camel’s hair pencil. When the glaire is dry, apply a second coat in the same manner. When the second application is dry, rub the places over with the oiled cotton wool previously mentioned.

Next take a leaf of gold from the gold-book, put it on the gold-cushion, and cut it with the gold-knife into pieces a shade larger than the glaired spaces. Lift them by a piece of cotton wool which has been drawn over the operator’s head to render it slightly greasy. Place each piece of gold leaf in its place and press it down in the pattern. If there are any holes or breaks, breathe slightly on the gold leaf and put another piece on the top of it. When all the places are covered, begin to work the tools. These require to be heated to such a temperature that if you let fall a drop of water upon them it does not hiss or roll off, but dries up at once. Work all the tools exactly in the blind impressions.

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