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Marbled Paper Choices

When purchasing a 1/4 Calf, 1/2 Calf Book, or Full Calf w/Marbled End Papers you will be asked to choose  a Marbled Paper color. 

  • 1/4 Calf and 1/2 Calf Books get covered with marbled paper on the outside of the book. 

  • Full Calf w/Marbled End Papers covers the inside front and back cover with marbled paper.

  • Please reference these codes below when ordering.

The Bindery at the Sign of the Book and Crown sources their decorative papers from the U.K., Germany and Italy.
These papers are handmade and will have slight variations in color and design.

Colors will vary on each computer monitor.

Paper stock is limited and the first choice paper may not always be available for the size of book requested.

We will let you know if a paper is not available and discuss an alternative. 

U.K. Marbled Papers

PH002

PH002

PH003

PH003

PH004

PH004

PH005

PH005

PH007

PH007

PH013

PH013

PH014

PH014

German Marbled Papers

GRM001

GRM001

GRM002

GRM002

GRM003

GRM003

GRM006

GRM006

GRM008

GRM008

A Brief History of  Marbling

 

Although the origins of paper marbling may be obscure, historians believe paper was marbled in Japan as early as the twelfth century. Marbling had spread to Persia by the fifteenth century and the first Persian marbles had a fine comb pattern, very similar to the present day nonpareil design. The art of marbling then spread to Turkey, and was imported to Holland at the end of the sixteenth century. 

The manufacturing of marbled paper in Western Europe dates to about 1630 and there is evidence of books with European marbled endpapers in 1655.  It is thought that the manufacturing was almost exclusively a French and German preserve until the middle decades of the eighteenth century. Dutch merchants imported a wide range of goods from Germany for re-export, including marbled papers, the patterns of which are still known as "Dutch."  These Dutch papers were exported to Britain and heavily used for more than one hundred years until the end of the eighteenth century. 



A popular early pattern introduced around 1660 was the French curl or snail pattern and was used in Britain until the end of the nineteenth century. Marbling began to develop slowly in Britain in the second half of the eighteenth century. In contrast with the varieties of the Dutch pattern which had been very popular previously, the new marbles were uncombed or lightly combed and the colours in some, like antique spot, were brighter and more pleasing. Other popular patterns at this time included French Shell, Stormont and Gloster. These patterns lost popularity about 1840 and were followed by nonpareil and Spanish.  Nonpareil patterns remained popular throughout the Victorian period. Variations of this pattern which were also popular at the time included Bouquet and Peacock. Other marbled papers used mostly during the second half of the nineteenth century were Italian, Westend and Turkish or Stone.

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The above Plates taken from Dedirot's,  Encyclopédie, ou dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers.  First published over the course of more than twenty years (1751-1777), the 32 volumes of the Encyclopédie include 21 volumes of text with more than 70,000 articles on subjects ranging from asparagus to zodiac. The remaining 11 volumes contain beautifully engraved plates illustrating many of the articles. The Encyclopédie was the major achievement of the French Enlightenment whose aim, in Diderot's words, was to "change the common way of thinking" through the expansion of knowledge and the development of critical modes of thought.