marbling, in bookbinding, a process of coloring the sides, edges, or end papers of a book in a design that suggests the veins and mottles of marble. In tree marbling, as of tree calf bindings, the design suggests also the trunk and branches of a tree. In tree marbling, liquid colors are run over a surface bent to form a trough the trunk of the tree is produced in the bottom of the trough. In other marbling, the colors are arranged on the surface of a liquid, and to this the surface to be colored is applied. The process of marbling was known in Japan as early as the 9th cent. AD it reached Europe in the 17th cent.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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