Finishing is divided into two classes—blind or antique, or, as it is sometimes called, monastic and gold-finished.
The term antique is mostly known in the trade; and when morocco antique or calf antique is mentioned, it means that the whole of the finishing is to be done in blind tooling. Not only this, but that the boards should be very thick and bevelled, and the edges either dull gilt or red, or gilt over red. This class of work is used extensively for religious
Leo's Finishing Press. books. A gold line introduced and intermixed with blind work gives a great relief to any class of antique work.
It is not necessary that a special set of tools be kept for antique work, although some would look quite out of keeping if worked in gold. As a general rule antique tools are bold and solid, such as Venetian tools, whilst those for gold work are cut finer and are well shaded. The greater number work equally well in gold and in blind, but when a special style has to be followed the various tools and their adaptation to that style must be studied.
The general colour of the blind work is dark brown, and the proper way of working these antique tools is to take them warm and work them on the damp leather a number of times, thus singeing or burning as it were the surface only, until it has assumed its proper degree of colour.