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Gilder's burnisher, used by Thomas Nelson, Edinburgh

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Gilder's burnisher, used by Thomas Nelson, Edinburgh
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A gilder's burnisher was used by a bookbinder to gild the edges of pages in books. This example was used by the book production company, Thomas Nelson of Edinburgh.

The burnisher consists of a tubular brass head, flattened and widened to form a nozzle into which is inserted a piece of cut brown and white agate. The handle is of varnished wood.

After leaving school, Thomas Nelson (1822-92) joined the Edinburgh bookselling business originally set up by his father. He was mainly interested in bookbinding and book production and went on to set up workshops in Edinburgh and London.

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