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17th c Marbling



  By the beginning of the 17th century,  the technique for marbling paper had
already reached Europe, as Richard Wolfe notes in his book Marbled Paper  Its
History, Techniques, and Pattern  University of Pennsylvania Press, 1990   In
chapter 2 he quotes Albert Haemmerle's book Buntpapier, that there is
evidence the technique became known in Germany by 1604, and these include a
number of stencilled marbled papers.  Shortly after that, we also find a
number of examples from France where the use of marbled paper seems more
confined to Bookbinding, and edge-marbling soon appears thereafter.

  It is true that the East still seems to have dominated the technique.  In
Turkey, the oldest known text describing the Marbling process, the Tertib
Risale-i Ebri (An Organized on Ebri) was written in 1608.  This manuscript
still has unfortunately, never been translated.  Also, there exist many fine
Irani examples from the Safavid court of Shah Abbas in Isfahan , and from
Mughul India, there is even an example of early motifs at this point, in
particular, a calligraphy by Prince Dara Shikoh, the eldest son of Shah Jahan
(builder of the Taj Mahalin honor of Mumtaz Mahal, Dara's mother).   Examples
of these styles are in Harvard's Sackler Museum.

  The color pallette is limited,  Indigo lake for blue, Yellow Earth oxides
and Arsenic Sulfate (Orpiment) for Yellow,  Reds were either from oxides- red
earth, and arsenic again (Realgar), as well as red lakes from Cochineal and
Kermes insects, Madder root, and Brazil wood, although some texts mention the
use of red lead and Mercury Sulfide (Vermillion- artificial Cinnabar) as well
(these seem to be uncommon, and probably difficult to float due to their
weight than the other colors).  Lamp Black for the black.  There are of
course a number of provincial coloring agents that came into play as well,
but to esoteric- the colors I mentioned have been used in India to Europe at
that time.    Of course, there still is room for more scientific analysis
into this area, the only one to date that I'm aware of being the work done in
the mid-80's on Sir Edwin Binney III Indian stencil- resist paintings, that
the late Chris Weimann was involved with (the findings have never been
formally published).

  So, to best answer your question, you would have to give more information
about what the book is you are trying to do, since there are a number of
styles and directions one could go in.  Basically, spots, antique spot,
curls, and combs were manufactured in Europe by the end of the 17th century.


  Other types of decorative papers common to the period are paste papers,
stencilled papers, cut-outs, blockprints, gilt-stamped papers, gold flecked
papers, dyed papers, sprinkled papers...  did i miss anything?

  If you have any further questions on this subject, please feel free to
e-mail me directly.

Jake Benson


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