The fillet, a bookbinder’s tool, has been used since the Renaissance to inscribe fine lines in the covers of leather-bound books. The designs created by the fillet are then gilded. The ornamentation can be simple and geometric, as it was toward the close of the fifteenth century in Venice, where fine work was done in the shop of famed typographer Aldus Manutius. Before his death in 1515, Manutius befriended Jean Grolier, a Milanese treasurer and book collector, and created, at Grolier’s suggestion, ornamental binding with complicated interlacements. This style came to bear Grolier’s name. In North America, the name Grolier has come to be associated with the Grolier Club in midtown Manhattan, a bastion of antiquarian book collecting.
Tools of the Bookbinding Trade Can Be Found in Pennsylvania
HUMANITIES, Fall 2017, Volume 38, Number 4