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On Paper: The Description and Analysis of Handmade Laid Paper (The History of the Book)
by:R. Carter Hailey
The study of handmade laid paper is - or should be - an invaluable resource for the bibliographic scholar. During the twentieth century a number of important finds were made using such analysis, including W W Greg's 1908 discovery that the Pavier quartos of Shakespeare plays had been falsely dated. Yet despite such revelatory powers, bibliographic...
The study of handmade laid paper is - or should be - an invaluable resource for the bibliographic scholar. During the twentieth century a number of important finds were made using such analysis, including W W Greg's 1908 discovery that the Pavier quartos of Shakespeare plays had been falsely dated. Yet despite such revelatory powers, bibliographic scholars have been unable to agree on a set of standards and procedures for collecting and displaying watermark evidence, or even which features of handmade laid paper are most usefully described.Hailey's study is designed to fill a distinct gap in the literature by providing a practical guide for the bibliographic scholar. His system of 'mug shot and fingerprint' involves a detailed look at watermarks (always twins) and an analysis of the wirelines and chainlines left by the mould during the sieving process. Whilst all Hailey's examples come from English printed books of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the stability of the paper-making process makes this study applicable to printed books produced in any Western country up until the late eighteenth century.
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