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M for Marbling

Published on , by Marielle Brie

In the 12th century, the Japanese art of "ink floating on water" met with considerable success. Then, after conquering the East and Turkey as the "art of clouds", marbled paper reached the gates of Europe and was poised to mark the history of bookbinding.  

Serge Tatistcheff, Alexandre Ier et Napoléon: d’après leur correspondance inédite,... M for Marbling

Serge Tatistcheff, Alexandre Ier et Napoléon: d’après leur correspondance inédite, (Serge Tatistcheff, Alexandre Ist and Napoleon: From Their Unpublished Correspondence) 1801-1812, Paris, Perrin et Cie, 1891, in-8o, brown half-percaline with corners, smooth spine monogrammed "T.V" in the tail, red morocco title page, edges jaspées.
Neuilly-sur-Seine, June 3, 2021. Aguttes auction house
Result: €252

The capture of Constantinople in 1453 fostered cultural exchanges and enabled Western travelers to discover the Ottoman Empire and its extraordinarily refined paper: marbled, glossy, and colored with pale cloudy patterns. These later provided dream-like backgrounds for calligraphy and a means for bureaucrats to create unfalsifiable documents, as it was impossible to alter what was written on them with a reed pen without leaving a trace. This "Turkish paper" reached Europe in the late 16 th century in the form of an album amicorum: a collection of short poems, travel accounts or testimonies of friendship. The oldest known copy, belonging to Henri d'Angoulême (1551-1586), has entirely marbled pages. The first European marbling appeared in Germany in the early 17 th century. Endeavors were made to reproduce oriental patterns through experimentation, and…
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