What was the use of the wood block in Europe during the 15th century?

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Woodblock printing was widely used in Asia, and the technique was mainly used to make block books in Europe during the 15th century.

The technique involved the carving of text and images on a piece of wood, which was used to transfer the impressions on the material through applying ink on the face of the wood carving and pressing it against the material.

The block books produced in Europe were short books because the process to produce them was very tedious. Each letter had to be carved on the wood each time it appeared in the text. However, the process was cheaper compared to more advanced techniques at the time.

Block books were printed both in color and black and white versions and featured no attributions to the author, date, printer, or place of printing. Several 15th century European block books have been preserved and placed on display in different libraries.

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I believe you are referring to the artistic tradition of wood-block printing. This is a technique for creating printed pages, textiles, or even entire books by using an intricately carved block of wood to stamp lines and color onto the desired surface. This method dates to at least the 5th century AD in China, where it was invented, and by the 15th century the technique had spread to Europe. During the 15th century, wood-block printing was a popular means of printing books. This method was very labor intensive, though, as every page had to be carved by hand into an individual block of wood- both text and illustration! Though it demanded lots of time and effort to use wood-blocks for printing, it was initially cheaper than printing with movable metal type. These blocks had the benefit of being reusable and many copies of a page could be stamped from the same block.

During the heyday of the European woodblock print (the 15th century), most books produced in this manner were religious texts. Playing cards were also made in this way.

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