Glossary of Printing Terms:

The name given a leaf of the acanthus plant (Acanthus spinosus) introduced as ornamentation in ancient Greek architecture. It has been applied in various modified forms in succeeding styles of architecture. In bookbinding, the acanthus ornamentation is a typical impression of the finishing tool cut to represent two such leaves pointing in different directions. The acanthus decoration was also used as a decorative motif by illuminators of manuscripts, especially Carolingian artists of the 9th century

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