Monday, February 1, 2016

An Anthology of Decorated Papers

Courtesy Thames and Hudson

An Anthology of Decorated Papers
A Sourcebook for Designers
By P.J.M. Marks

A collection of gorgeously reproduced decorated papers alongside a thoughtful and carefully researched history of this often-overlooked art.

p 12  Paper from the Réveillon workshop in Paris, c. 1745. (detail)
© 2016 The British Library

Decorated papers have been used for centuries, from early as early as 105 AD in the Chinese courts, up to when Benjamin Franklin produced bank notes which were marbled to avoid fraud.  They have been used as wrapping, in bookbinding, as liners, stationary and art. This luxe publication is filled with glorious papers which will thrill almost anyone, especially those with a love of design and the decorative arts.

p 15  Comb-marbled end-leaf from John Evelyn’s gold-tooled leather prayer book, a present from his sister Elizabeth in 1685. (detail) © 2016 The British Library

Sourced from the Olga Hirsch Collection at the British Library, one of the largest and most varied collections of decorated papers in the world, the author, P.J.M. Marks takes us on a journey through examples of brocade paper, block-printed paper, paste papers, gilded, marbled papers and more.

p 130 Eighteenth-century German brocade paper on a green background. Patterned textiles often featured similar motifs. (detail) © 2016 The British Library

P.J.M. Marks is curator of book-bindings at the British Library. Her previous books include The British Library Guide to Bookbinding, Treasures in Focus: Decorated Papers and Beautiful Bookbindings. 

Thank you to Thames & Hudson for the review copy of this book. It can be purchased for your library here

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