Antique work, as a decoration, requires quite as much dexterity and care as gold work. Every line must be straight, and the tools must be worked properly on the leather, both in colour and depth; and as the tools have to be worked many times on the same spot, it requires a very steady hand and great care not to double them. Some consider blind work as preparatory to gold work, and that it gives experience in the method of handling and working the various tools, and the degree of heat required for different leathers without burning them through. The leather on which this work is mostly executed is morocco and calf.
In finishing the back of a book it must always be held tightly in the "finishing press." When in the press, mark the head and tail as a guide for the pallets by running a folding-stick along the edge of a piece of parchment or vellum held by the finger and thumb of the left hand against the sides of the volume across the back at the proper place. When two or more books of the same character and size are to range together, the backs must be compassed up so that the lines head and tail may run continuous when finished. In using the pallet, hold it firmly in the right hand, and let the working motion proceed from the wrist only, as if it were a pivot. It will be