This psychdelic marbled binding is on Le Terrecotte Figurate del Museo Nazionale di Napoli, or, “The Figured Terracottas of the National Museum of Naples.” The book is by archaeologist and historian Alda Levi (1890-1950) and was published by Vallecchi Firenze Publishing House in 1926. Levi’s work included excavations on the Via dell’Abbondanza, the longest road in Pompeii. She was an influential figure in Italian archaeology during the first half of the 20th century despite being a woman and being Jewish. Levi was persecuted by the Fascist government and survived the Holocaust by hiding in Rome.
This marbling appears to be a pattern called Gloster (also known as Gloucester, Partidge’s Eye, Oeil de Perdrix, and Stein Marmor mit Grießtropfen). This pattern is created by starting with a Turkish base, then a comb with one set of teeth is drawn across the bath twice vertically (or horizontally), once in either direction with the second pass halving the first. Then one or more colors of ink mixed with a dispersant are sprinkled onto the bath, causing those last spots to have open, very fine spots inside them.