Page:The Art of Bookbinding, Zaehnsdorf, 1890.djvu/144
of decoration came into use, which we may well study, even at the present day; a style at once rich and varied.
Monastic Tools. If we follow the bold interlacing lines which form the skeletons of those infinite and varied designs, we catch the imaginative caprices of their authors; and the details of their transformation gives us a guide to the different schools and art of their time. The execution of these linear designs is extremely difficult. It can be easily seen that they have not been done by a block engraved in one piece, but with small segments. The art of putting together these small pieces, so as to form one complete and artistic pattern, is the skill of the finisher. Many books are now finished by means of the blocking press; but on close examination, these imitations may be readily distinguished. A blocked cover never has the life and spirit that a hand-finished one has. Of blocking I must speak in subsequent pages.
These intrinsic designs were very much used by the