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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 into which is inserted a rounded piece of agate. The agate is bent at almost 90 degrees in the middle and has a pointed tip. The handle is made of wood.

By 1878, the company of Thomas Nelson employed 600 people in Edinburgh and London. Thomas Nelson himself invented a rotary press which was shown at the Great Exhibition in London in 1851.

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