Category Archives: Paper

Reposting a very curious collection of upwards of 370 specimens of paper with various Watermarks

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1593 unicorn watermark

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1377 griffin watermark

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In honor of the 35th Biennial Congress of the International Association of Paper Historians (IPH) co-hosted by the Library of Congress, the National Gallery of Art, and the National Archives and Records Administration, currently in progress online, here is a reposting of the unusual collection of watermarks collected by Dawson Turner. This is physically in Princeton’s Graphic Arts Collection and digitized here:

During the 1952-53 fiscal year, a unique collection of nearly 400 specimens of European papers with different watermarks (1377-1840) was acquired for the Graphic Arts Collection, at the suggestion of Elmer Adler (1884-1962) with a fund turned over to the Library by the Friends of the Princeton University Library (FPUL). Adler must have been a good negotiator, talking rare book dealer Philip Duschnes down from $350 to $300.

The album was elaborately created with sheets of many shapes and sizes bound in various layers, with a brief description written at the top of each sheet. I have included the front matter pinned to the endpapers.

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Originally in the collection of Dawson Turner (1775–1858), the auction catalogue description reads: ’Watermarks on Paper. A very curious collection of upwards of three hundred and seventy specimens of paper with various Watermarks, for A.D. 1377 to A. D. 1842, collected with a view to assist in ascertaining the age of undated manuscripts, and of verifying that of dated ones, by Dawson Turner, Esq. and bound in 1 vol. half calf.’

See also: Catalogue of the Remaining Portion of the Library of Dawson Turner, Esq., M.A., F.R.S., F.S.A., F.L.S., etc., etc. formerly of Yarmouth: which will be sold by auction by Messrs. Puttick and Simpson … Leicester Square … on Monday, May 16th, 1859, and seven following days (Sunday excepted). [London, 1859], item 1523.


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Specimens of Paper with Different Water Marks, 1377-1840. 1 v. (unpaged); 40 cm. 371 specimens of watermarked paper, together with brief descriptions of each in a mid-nineteenth century ms. hand. The specimens are mainly blank leaves, though some leaves feature writing and letterpress. Specimen 334 is stamped sheet addressed to Dawson Turner (1775-1858), Yarmouth. Purchased with funds from the Friends of the Princeton University Library. Graphic Arts: Reference Collection (GARF) Oversize Z237 .S632f

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Dawson Turner may have seen a goat, but this is a definitely a Unicorn, specifically a “bearded unicorn”, with its horn removed by Victorian scissors. The date c.1440 is almost certainly wrong; a much more plausible date is mid-1470s.
Thanks very much to Paul Needham for the correction.

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For comparison, here is an image of a Unicorn precisely of this type used by Caxton, in Bruges, c. 1475.

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The Supreme Court and Paper Collars

Isaac Robert Cruikshank (1789-1856), Dandies Dressing, November 2, 1818. Hand colored etching. From Dandies series published by Thomas Tegg. Graphic Arts Collection. I.R.Cruikshank prints


High white collars came into fashion for men in the 18th century, at a time when the shirt, collar, and cravat were all washed and bleached together, causing considerable time and trouble for wives and maids. The invention of the removable collar has been claimed, at least in the United States, by Hannah Montague of “Collar City” (Troy, NY). As early as 1827, Montague came up with the idea of cutting one collar off her husband’s shirt that could be laundered separately and then buttoned back onto various shirts. See also:

Most histories agree the first patent for a disposable paper collar was granted to the New York inventor Walter Hunt (1796-1859) on July 25, 1854 (who was also responsible for an early sewing machine and the first safety pin). In Philadelphia, William E. Lockwood established his own collar company a few years later but it wasn’t until the US Civil War and a cotton shortage that the sale of paper collars exploded.


In 1863 Lockwood bought or otherwise acquired the patents held by Solomon Gray and Andrew Evans. He then gathered 19 paper collar manufacturers together to form The Union Paper Collar Company, presuming they would control the market. The company placed warnings in local newspapers around the country telling people not to buy from any firm other than Union Paper Collar Co. Lawsuits were threatened.

For Christmas 1865, the New York Times ran a promotional story of a shopping trip a reporter took with an out-of-towner called O’Leum. Various shops and their merchandise were described, including S.W.H. Ward’s paper collars: “O’Leum has heard of WARD’s perfect fitting shirts and WARD’s handsome paper collars and cuffs for ladies and gentlemen. He therefore insists upon a visit to Mr. S.W.H. WARD, at No. 387 Broadway. The only wonder is that O’Leum, who appears to be an incorrigible traveler, and has almost wearied our reporter, does not also propose a trip to WARD’s other store, at Nos. 323 Montgomery-street, San Francisco. WARD sells O’Leum a gross of India-rubber enameled collars and cuffs and we are off … “–NYT December 21, 1865.


Ward was among the companies that did not want to join the Union Paper Collar Co monopoly and so, in 1866 they formed their own collective known as the United States Paper Collar Manufacturers’ Association.  Ward published his own advertisement [at the top], offering $20,000 if Lockwood or any member of the Union Paper Collar Company went forward with a lawsuit.

Only years later did several small suits move forward, one as far as the United States Supreme Court: the Union Paper Collar Co VS Van Dusen in October 1, 1874, which Lockwood lost.

The transcript is a wonderful document, with full descriptions of how the paper for collars was made, how it was cut and fashioned, as well as the machines used for these processes. The Court said new machines could be patented but not the original concept of a removable paper collar, which had already been created. Here’s a short section:

“After the “stock” — best rags or what else — is sorted and cut, it is generally cleaned by boiling, and finally put, with the requisite quantity of water, into the “beating engine,” where it is beaten or ground into pulp. The beating engine is simply a vat divided into two compartments by a longitudinal partition, which, however, leaves an opening at either end. In one compartment a cylinder revolves, called the “roll,” its longitudinal axis being at right angles to the length of the vat. In this cylinder, and parallel with its axis, are inserted a number of blades or knives which project from its circumference. Directly beneath the roll, upon the bottom of the vat, is a horizontal plate, called the bed-plate, which consists of several bars or knives, similar and parallel to those of the roll, bolted together. The roll is so arranged that it can be raised or lowered, and also the speed of its revolutions regulated at pleasure. The vat being filled with rags and water, in due proportion, the mass is carried beneath the roll, and between that and the bed-plate, and passing round through the other compartment of the vat, again passes between the bed-plate and roll, and so continues to revolve until the whole is beaten into pulp of the requisite fineness and character for the paper for which it is intended. When the beating first begins, the roll is left at some distance from the bed-plate, and is gradually lowered as the rags become more disintegrated and ground up. The management of the beating engine is left to the skill and judgment of the foreman in charge. The knives may be sharp or dull, the roll may be closely pressed upon the bed-plate or slightly elevated, the bars and knives may have the angles which they make with each other altered, so that they either cut off sharply, like the blades of scissors, or tear the rags more slowly as they pass between them. The duration of the beating also varies according to the nature of the pulp, the length of fiber required, the condition of the knives &c.; and the speed of the revolutions given to the roll is varied in like manner.


One of the many companies saved by this ruling was the Reversible Collar Company in Cambridge, Massachusetts, whose factory building is still standing at 25–27 Mt. Auburn & 10–14 Arrow Streets, although no paper collars are being produced.

Paper made from asparagus, canna lily, carrots, and more

Fred Siegenthaler, Strange Papers: A Collection of the World’s Rarest Handmade Papers (Muttenz: Fred Siegenthaler, Paper Art, 1987). Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2021- in process

There are a number of good descriptions online for Strange Papers. Here’s one: Here is the description of our copy:

“In the early 1980s Fred Siegenthaler, a papermaker himself, wrote to international papermakers he knew from his travels requesting samples of their work made from rare and unusual materials. From these he chose 101 papers from 51 papermakers and purchased 200 sheets of each to produce this limited edition box set of samples with accompanying book. Papers in this collection come from makers in The Netherlands, Mexico, USA, Denmark, Brazil, Philippines, Germany, Israel, Australia, Japan, Switzerland, Scotland, Belgium, Egypt, England, and Czechoslovakia, and are made from materials including asparagus, canna lily, carrots, cedar bark, corn husks, kangaroo grass, hemp, laver, leather, pampas grass, papyrus, petmoss, potato stalks, red hot poker, suksuka, stinging nettle, and other exotic ingredients. The work is limited to 200 copies, the first 20 of which comprise the special edition with an additional 19 samples. This copy is one of the regular edition and is numbered 104 of 200 and signed by the author.”

Fred Siegenthaler is the founder of The International Association of Hand Papermakers and Paper Artists (IAPMA), the world’s leading organization for paper artists. It was founded in 1986 in Düren, Germany, when paper as an art medium was far less well-known than it is today. While paper history and production are one facet of the Association’s activities, the central focus is the role of paper as art form and contemporary artistic medium.

The next IAPMA congress takes place from October 7-10, 2021, in Tokyo Japan:

Siegenthaler is also the author of several dozen volumes, articles, and conference papers including Bücher für Kunsterziehung; Agamemnon 3; Tsai-Lun: vesuche in der Kunst Papiermachens; Diverse Papier; Siebdruck-Papiere =Papier de l’impression au cadre; and Künstlerbriefe.


Who needs paper?

Fred Tomaselli, Untitled, 2020. Paper collage, resin, paint. James Cohan Gallery

Will your library continue to purchase paper newspapers?

At a time when the home delivery of the paper New York Times is rising to nearly $200/year (depending on location and a variety of discounts) and a petition is being widely circulated to stop the freezing the largest historical paper collections in the world (webpage), we seem to be at a precipice in our need or appreciation for paper, in its many formats.

At the same time, those living in the New York area can pick up around two dozen free paper newspapers focused on neighborhoods and/or social groups (is anyone collecting them?) And the most interesting art exhibition of the weekend involves the intersection of newspaper text (specifically from the New York Times) and painting. Three of the eight works by Fred Tomaselli (born 1956) shown at James Cohan’s Gallery are pictured here digitally, better seen in the original.

These are disparate topics, that do seem to relate.


Fred Tomaselli, Untitled, 2020. Paper collage, resin, paint. James Cohan Gallery

Fred Tomaselli Opening October 23 from James Cohan Gallery on Vimeo.

Fred Tomaselli, Untitled, 2020. Paper collage, resin, paint. James Cohan Gallery

“In early 2020, the management of the Koninklijke Bibliotheek (Den Haag) made the decision that its famous paper historical collection will no longer be a “core domain” and thus be terminated in terms of curatorship. Starting in January 2021 the second largest paper collection in the world will be without an active curatorship and without further collection development, i.e. no more acquisitions of relevant objects and specialist literature. While the collection will be stored and available, ongoing and future research will be frozen.”

Perhaps this is one of many collections that no longer have the benefit of curatorial control, perhaps that is another issue. It does seem to be a moment when we are re-evaluating the importance of paper within special collections and in our lives.

Detail, Untitled, 2020.

Samples of the Peter Adams Company’s American Art Papers

Peter Adams Company, Samples of the Peter Adams Company’s American Art Papers made at the company’s Waverly Mills at Buckland, Conn. New York, 1893. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2020- in process

“The Waverly Mills were established by Peter Adams, at the village of Buckland, near the city of Hartford, Connecticut, U.S.A., in the year 1861,” wrote Henry H. Bowman in this 1893 paper sample book for the Mill, although other sources indicate Adams purchased the mill in 1863. The book continues:

“…Mr. Adams was born in Scotland, and there learned thoroughly, in all its branches, the business of paper making. His father died when he was very young. His parents were in very moderate circumstances, and the spirit of self-reliance and the restless energy that throughout his career overcame all obstacles to success, were manifested by him then, when, at the tender age of eight years, he commenced the work of making himself an adept in the art of paper making.

To this work he applied himself steadily until he became an expert paper maker in all the branches of the art. At the age of twenty-one years he came to America. He and three other young Scotchmen set up and operated, at Saugerties, N.Y., the first fourdrinier paper machine that was operated in America. He soon became superintendent of a paper mill, and thereafter his services were in constant requisition in that capacity until he entered int the business of paper making on his own.”


By 1884, Peter Adams (1807-1889) was known as one of the oldest and most successful paper manufacturers in the United States.


Note the specificity of this sample book: plate papers (8); chromolithographic plate papers (10) chart papers (2); map papers (6) and book papers (14). It is rare the printer of a chromolithograph, or other printed material, should credit the type of paper on which it’s printed for its quality but here the paper is shown with an actual chromolithograph, suggesting just that.






The importance of the Adams firm is demonstrated by their New York City offices, housed at 38 Park Row, in the eleven-story Potter Building commissioned by Orlando B. Potter and constructed in 1883-86 to replace Potter’s World Building, destroyed by fire in January 1882.

King’s Handbook mentions that there were two hundred offices in the Potter Building, “including those of several newspaper and periodical publishers, insurance and other companies, lawyers and professional men.” Among its newspaper tenants were the editorial and business offices of The Press, a popular penny newspaper founded in 1887 with ties to the Republican party, and the New York-Observer, the oldest American religious newspaper, started in 1823 and previously located in the World Building until the fire.

Other tenants included Peter Adams Co. and Adams & Bishop Co., manufacturers of fine papers for printing, maps, photography, etc.; the Mutual Reserve Fund Life Association, established in 1881 and the then largest assessment insurance firm in the world; the business offices of Otis Brothers & Co., manufacturers of elevators since 1855 and the leading maker of passenger elevators; the New York Architectural Terra Cotta Co. offices; and O.B. Potter himself, on the top floor.

The mill is now a restaurant, located along a popular hiking trail:

Adler’s paper sample resources

Recently two paper sample cabinets owned by Elmer Adler (1884-1962) came back from off-site storage to our vaults, including this one housing sample books from the Alling & Cory Company.

“Alling and Cory was a privately owned printing paper and packaging distributor headquartered in Rochester, New York, [Adler’s hometown]. Founded by Elihu F. Marshall in 1819, the company was the first paper merchant in the U.S. The company remained independent until 1996 when it was bought by Union Camp. Assumed to be among its employees were two United States Presidents and other United States statesmen.

At its height, Alling and Cory owned more than 20 branch offices from Toledo, Ohio to New York City. At one point, it was the United States’ oldest privately owned company in continuous operation. In 1910-1911, they built the Alling & Cory Buffalo Warehouse and in 2010, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.”

See The New York Times article: “Alling & Cory Sold for $88 Million to Union Camp” from Dow Jones, April 16, 1996.

A second cabinet holds this wonderful color sample brochure. Here is a small part of the business history posted by the Beckett Paper Company:

With sales of less than $100 million, Beckett Papers is a rather small, yet distinctive, segment of the Fine Papers Division of Hammermill Paper Co., itself a subsidiary of $20 billion International Paper Co. Nevertheless, Beckett enjoys a long and distinguished heritage in the paper industry, stretching back 50 years earlier, in fact, than that of International Paper. Established in 1848, Beckett was controlled and managed by descendants of founder William Beckett until 1959, when it became a subsidiary of Hammermill Paper Co. Hammermill was in turn acquired by International Paper in 1984.

A well-established brand presence in the fine papers, stationery, and uncoated recycled stock segments enabled Beckett to retain its own identity and logo through the mid-1990s. But while its goods continued to be milled at the company’s birthplace in Hamilton County, Ohio, its headquarters was moved to East Granby, New Jersey, along with the rest of International Papers’ Fine Papers Group.

Beckett Papers was founded and eventually named for William Beckett. Born in 1821 and educated at southern Ohio’s Miami University, Beckett, along with a couple of partners, bought into an abandoned paper mill in the town of Hamilton in 1848. At first, the mill churned out newsprint made of rags for sale to newspaper publishers in nearby Cincinnati. Though the mill struggled to stay in the black during its first two years, efficiencies achieved through the addition of a second paper making machine led to a decade-long period of profitability. The Civil War helped to lengthen this prosperous period, as newspaper sales skyrocketed, fueled by public hunger for news from the battlefields. These high times subsided during the late 19th century, when panics and recessions hurt the company’s results.

Partners came and went over the course of the company’s first four decades in operation, and the business endured several name changes before its incorporation as The Beckett Paper Company in 1887. By this time Thomas Beckett, son of the founder, had joined the company. The second-generation leader brought new production methods to the company, including modern paper making machines that used wood pulp. Though his changes were vehemently resisted by some managers, modernizations kept the company’s costs competitive and eventually brought it out of the red. Thomas launched the Buckeye Cover brand of colored paper in 1894, a stock that soon gained a reputation for high quality. The buckeye, Ohio’s state tree, would serve as Beckett’s corporate logo for some 100 years, until the launch of a new logo in mid-1998.

Read more:



These resources were originally moved from Elmer Adler’s office in The New York Times annex to Princeton in 1940, when he established a graphic arts program at the university. Special thanks go to my colleagues Jen Meyer and Mike Siravo, who arranged the moving and new storage for these important resources back into the department.

Scott Printing Machine Works, Plainfield, New Jersey

525 South Avenue, Plainfield, New Jersey, in 2020.


Scott Printing Press Co.’s Works, Plainfield, N.J., Industrial Area, side view of the factory along with the water tank. Plainfield Public Library.

In 1884, Walter Scott (1844-1907) moved his printing press manufacturing business from Chicago to Plainfield, New Jersey, taking over the lot previously used by New Jersey’s Central Baseball Club. By 1903, Walter Scott & Company covered five acres of downtown Plainfield. “The buildings are of brick, contain a floor space of upwards of 115,000 square feet and are connected with each other by a narrow-gauge railroad, 2,300 feet in length, which runs through the buildings.” —Newspaperdom 10 (January 1, 1903).

Scott operated the largest printing press manufacturing firm in the United States (claimed to be the largest in the world), known especially for high-speed presses and folding machines used by newspapers. In 1893, the New York World installed the first color press in America adapted to newspaper printing, which was built by Scott’s Company in Plainfield. Known as a brilliant inventor, he received his first patent in 1874 and by 1903, held 200 patents. When he died 1907, his widow, Isabella Scott, operated the business until her death in 1931.

Google maps overview of the factory buildings still standing in 2020. The New Jersey Transit Raritan line still runs along the rear of the buildings.


Advertisements: The Inland printer. v.3 (1885/86) and American Printer and Lithographer 31 (1900).


A biographical sketch of Scott was published in The Inland Printer that begins “It is with pleasure that we are enabled to place before our readers the portrait of a gentleman whose name is familiar to every printer in the United States, Mr. Walter Scott. Blessed with great genius, tireless energy, indomitable perseverance, and administrative ability, he has succeeded in building up what is now the largest and most progressive printing press manufacturing establishment in the world.” It continues:

“Mr. Scott was born in Scotland on May 22, 1844. He was educated at the Ayr Academy, studied theoretical and applied mechanics, and learned the machinist trade. He came to the United States in 1869 and settled in Chicago. He was employed in several printing offices, and was for many years foreman of the pressrooms of the Inter Ocean. In 1872 he commenced to make inventions in printing machinery. His mechanical skill and thorough knowledge of the requirements of the printing office enabled him to produce economical and labor-saving machinery which was eagerly sought after by the appreciative printer. Among his inventions at that time was the printing from a web, pasting, cutting and folding, so as to produce a newspaper with the leaves cut in book from at one operation; also a new rotary web printing and folding machine which produced 30,000 copies per hour.

The demand for Mr. Scott’s improved machines became so great … that in 1884 it was found necessary to erect extensive and commodious works at Plainfield, New Jersey, a cut and description of which will be found below. Messrs. Walter Scott & Co. now makes no less than 117 different kinds and sizes of printing machines, ranging from a small cylinder press to a large book and newspaper machine costing $40,000 and capable of printing, pasting, cutting, and folding 96,000 eight-page papers per hour; besides many other machine and appliances connected with printing.

…This extensive manufactory is situated on South Avenue, between Richmond and Berckman Streets, and adjacent to the central Railroad of New Jersey, in the city of Plainfield. The works occupy five acres, are connected with the central Railroad by a siding and 1,700 feet of rails are laid through the yard to the various building. … The area of floor space is over 78,000 square feet. The buildings are beautifully lighted up by 25 arc and 400 incandescent electric lights, the dynamos of which are placed in the engine room.

…The factory and its equipment are the most complete of anything we have ever seen in this line of manufacture, and we understand it is the largest exclusively devoted to the manufacture of printing and kindred machinery in the United States, over one hundred and fifty machines being in process of construction at one time.– The Inland Printer, American Lithographer 7 (1889/1890): 564-66

See also:
Frederick W. Hamilton, Type and presses in America, a brief historical sketch of the development of type casting and press building in the United States ([Chicago] Pub. by the Committee on education, United typothetae of America, 1918). Graphic Arts Collection 2006-1856N

Herbert L. Baker, Cylinder printing machines, being a study of the mechanism and operation of the principal types of cylinder printing machines ([Chicago] Pub. by the Committee on education, United typothetae of America, 1918). Graphic Arts Collection 2007-0021N



A Born Classic

Mark Argetsinger, A Grammar of Typography: Classical Book Design in the Digital Age (Boston: David R. Godine, 2020). 528 pages; 8.5 x 12 inches; illustrated with over 425 images, many in full color.

The arrival of Mark Argetsinger’s new book, A Grammar of Typography, sent me running to a thesaurus in search of a word larger than comprehensive. Should we describe it as thorough? Inclusive? Far-reaching, in-depth, sweeping, or simply grand?

The publisher’s material begins: “A Grammar of Typography is a comprehensive guide to traditional book design that is both practical and historical. Interspersed with discussions of digital typesetting and page layout are broad historical views of the tradition of the book along with specific reference to the printer’s grammar or manual, the industry’s own codification of its usage, from Joseph Moxon in the seventeenth century through Theodore Low De Vinne in the nineteenth. In addition, there are chapters on house style, proof-reading, copy-editing, paper, binding, and appendices on typographical ornaments and Greek type. The book ends with an annotated bibliography and an index.”

How can you not love a book with an introduction titled “The Hidden Soul of Harmony: The Classical Tradition. A Practice in Search of a Theory”? Although Argetsinger claims “this is primarily a practical manual, not a scholarly treatise,” one would be hard-pressed to find a more philosophical look at “marks of quotation,” “font editing,” or “horizontal space.”

There is also biography and chronology. “In addition, Aldus was the first to cast in type the humanist’s running or cursive hand, known as the Italic. The busy work of the humanist, who daily, it seemed, uncovered new works of the Ancients, lying long neglected in the monastic or royal libraries of Europe, had required an efficient script to match the urgent copying of new texts.”

In his preface, Argetsinger writes, “This book intends to provide a historical context to the enterprise of book-making. The term grammar appears in its title both in reference to the historical phenomenon of ‘grammars’ of printing, regarding which much will be said along the way, as well as in reference to a certain graphical literacy that is requisite for the intelligent use of design and production tools in the digital age. Historical context is important both from the point of view of tracking evolving trends in the composition and display of printed matter, as well as from the point of view of preserving the traditions of its best practices.”

Open it anywhere and start reading.



“After the first necessities of life, nothing is more precious to us than books. The Art of Typography, which produces them, provides essential services to society and secures incalculable benefits. …Thus one could rightly call it par excellence the art of all arts and the science of all sciences.” –Pierre-Simon Fournier, le jeune, Manuel Typographique, Book 1 (1764).



A classical book designer, Argetsinger also embraces 21st-century technology, writing:
“There is something wonderful about working out the proportion of the page on screen, precisely mapping out its structure with the (by turns visible or invisible) grid and and page line; setting up one’s font with a complement of sorts so vast, even Christopher Plantin would feel a twinge of envy; readily changing size, font, color, position; and arraying, say, a two-volume, 800-page book heavy with illustrations and then placing its entire content on a digital thumb-drive….”

[Forgive my poor photography, the book itself is perfect.]

Colophon: “A Grammar of Typography set in DTL’s Fleischmann and printed on 115 Gem Munken print cream. All printing and binding by PBtisk Printing Company in the Czech Republic. This first edition consists of 1,875 hardcover trade copies as well as a deluxe slipcased edition of 125 copies signed and numbered by the author and only available directly from the publisher. Designed and composed by Mark Argetsinger, Holyoke, Massachusetts.”


A PostScript: My favorite Argetsinger design, proof he can do it all.

Catalogue des papiers marbrés, pointillés, grainés, glacés …

The Graphic Arts Collection added several marbled paper sample books, with swatches of various techniques from the 19th century. These can be used in conjunction with the modern reference texts and the wonderful database from the University of Washington “Decorated and Decorative Paper Collection” at, posted by Sandra Kroupa, Katie Blake and Johanna Burgess in 2006-2007. Not only are there digital examples that can be compared to these paper samples but a glossary of terms that explains the difference between what Wolfe calls Peacock and Miura calls Bouquet marble. They note:

When examining classification of marbling patterns, it is important to know that although many texts have been written on the subject, none is universally accepted as the ultimate authority. Historically patterns have been given idiosyncratic names, based on various criteria: the techniques used in their making, cultural practices or artist’s whim. The result is that patterns have multiple names.

See also: Wolfe, R. Marbled paper: Its history, techniques, and patterns. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1990 and Miura, Einen. The art of marbled paper. London: Zaehnsdorf Ltd., 1989.


Posted here are images from the Belgian packaging firm A. van Genechten. [Paper sample catalogue]. Turnhout, A. van Genechten, 1858, with 421 original paper samples pasted onto 78 unnumbered leaves, including:
62 samples of papier marbré turc ou shell (Turkish or shell marbled paper)
53 samples of papier marbré anglais ou spanish (English or Spanish marbled paper)
20 samples of papier marbré dannonay (Annonay marbled paper)
27 samples of papier marbré écaille (tortoiseshell marbled paper)
14 samples of papier graîné (grained marbled paper)
14 samples of papier pointillé fin (fine dotted marbled paper)
7 samples of papier piqué (quilted paper)
6 samples of papier jaspé (paper resembling a jasper stone)
36 samples of papier uni glacé no. 1 (plain glossy paper)
10 samples of papier uni glacé taffend (taffend? glossy plain paper)
4 samples of papier tarrotage sur fond blanc (tarrotage? paper on white background)
65 samples of papier fleuragé no 1 (flower paper)
26 samples of papier fleuragé sur fond blanc (floral paper on a white background)
8 samples of papier uni balance (plain balanced paper)
2 large samples of papier marbré splashed, satiné ou non satiné (splashed marbled paper, satin or non-satin)
10 large samples of papier marbré à plumes ou non pareil no 1(feathered or non-similar marbled paper)
17 large samples of papier marbré à plumes ou non pareil no 2 (feathered or non-similar marbled paper)
6 large samples of papiers fins divers (various fine papers)
7 large samples of papiers emaillés (enameled papers)
7 large samples of papiers marbrés agathe (Agathe marbled papers)
3 large samples of papiers racinés (rooted papers)

Founded in 1855, the firm of Antoon van Genechten specialized in playing cards, decorated papers, ephemera, and packaging material, flourishing over 100 years. The firm supplied products worldwide including England, Spain, France, Denmark, South-East Asia (Thailand, Java, the Celebes), India, China and Japan. In 1868 Van Genechten had been granted an official licence to print playing cards with Chinese and Japanese paintings. The company finally merged, along with Brepols and Biermans, into the newly formed company Carta Mundi in 1970. See more:

Collection of Decorated and Watermarked Papers Assembled by Ingeborg M. Hartmann

The Graphic Arts Collection recently acquired the collection of decorated and watermarked papers assembled by Ingeborg M. Hartmann (later owned by Jelle Samshuijzen). A description prepared by Sidney Berger is sampled here.

For over 40 years the German bookbinder Ingeborg M. Hartmann saved the endsheets and, in some cases, cover papers of the books she worked on, along with unprinted leaves (almost certainly flyleaves) containing watermarks. Today, her collection is housed in three custom boxes as follows: Box 1 contains 104 samples of decorated papers, mounted on 23 stiff archival board substrates; Box 2 contains 148 samples of mostly marbled papers, mounted on 42 stiff archival board substrates; Box 3 contains 142 unprinted leaves, each with a watermark.

This post highlights the watermark collection, which also includes two bound volumes that show the actual watermarks using beta radiography and drawings of these marks by Hartmann. No provenance information on the watermarked papers are given and the dates only generally listed 16th century to 19th century. The collection is not inclusive or definitive of any one place or time, but instead a gathering of fascinating, often beautiful examples. As with the printed and marbled papers, Hartmann has gathered hundreds of items to study and enjoy.

Here is a digital copy of one volume: hartmanncollectionofwatermarks

read more:

Ingeborg M. Hartmann and Eva-Maria Hanebutt-Benz, Das Gesicht der Bücher : Ingeborg M. Hartmann, Buchbinderin : Museum für Kunsthandwerk Frankfurt am Main, Ausstellung vom 26. Februar 1987 bis 8. Juni 1987 (Frankfurt am Main (Germany): Dezernat Kultur und Freizeit. ; Museum für Kunsthandwerk Frankfurt am Main, 1987). Graphic Arts Collection » Z269.2 .H37 1987

Ingeborg M. Hartmann, Buchbindermeisterin: [Ausstellung] Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg, 28. August bis 10. Oktober 1985 ([Hamburg] : [Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe], 1985).

Here are a few more samples: