New Book | An Anthology of Decorated Papers: A Sourcebook

Posted in books by Editor on January 20, 2016

From Thames & Hudson:

P. J. M. Marks, An Anthology of Decorated Papers: A Sourcebook for Designers (London: Thames & Hudson, 2016), 256 pages, ISBN: 978-0500518120, $60 / £38.

9780500518120_300Rich in ornamentation, decorated papers have been in use for centuries—as wrappers and endpapers for books, as the backing for playing cards, and even as linings for chests and cases. Yet despite the many contexts in which they can be found, they often go unnoticed. This remarkable new book not only showcases several hundred of the best and most exquisite examples of decorated paper but also provides a fascinating introduction to its history, traditions, and techniques. Drawing on the Olga Hirsch collection at the British Library, one of the largest and most diverse collections of decorated papers in the world, this beautifully produced anthology will both delight and inspire designers, bibliophiles, and anyone with a love of pattern and decoration.

P. J. M. Marks is curator of bookbindings at the British Library. Her previous books include The British Library Guide to Bookbinding, Treasures in Focus: Decorated Papers, and Beautiful Bookbindings. Her most recent publication is a chapter on selected European decorated bookbindings in The Arcadian Library: Bindings and Provenance.

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From the BL:

The Olga Hirsch collection of decorated papers, bequeathed in 1968, comprises over 3,500 sheets of paper and around 130 books in paper wrappers or with decorated end-leaves. There are hand-made papers from the 16th century onwards, and also later, machine-made papers. Various techniques of decorating paper are represented: there are brush-coated, sprinkled, sprayed, flock, marbled, block-printed, embossed, and metallic-varnish papers, as well as book jackets and 20th-century artists’ papers.

Mirjam Foot, “The Olga Hirsch Collection of Decorated Papers,” British Library Journal 7 (Spring 1981): 12–38, available as a PDF file here.

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