Page:The Art of Bookbinding, Zaehnsdorf, 1890.djvu/23
placed the art on such a high eminence, that even now we are compelled to look to these great masterpieces as models of style. Not only was the exterior elaborate in ornament, but the edges were gilded and tooled; and even painted. We must wonder at the excellence of the materials and the careful workmanship which has preserved the bindings, even to the colour of the leather, in perfect condition to the present day.
There is little doubt that the first examples of the style now known as "Grolier" were produced in Venice, under the eye of Grolier himself, and according to his own designs; and that workmen in France, soon rivalled and excelled the early attempts. The work of Maioli may be distinctly traced by the bold simplicity and purity of his designs; and more especially by the broader gold lines which margin the coloured bands of geometric and arabesque ornamentation.
All books, it must be understood, were not bound in so costly a manner, for we find pigskin, vellum and calf in