I’m happy at work, and since I have finished all the books that are going away for competitions I am a bit slow in the home bindery.
This is what is exciting me at the moment:
Perhaps not this one is particular, but certainly this one: two griffins? found in a book about Spanish royal lineage.
I posted about searching for watermarks a few months ago. Well I am still obsessed by them. However given that I now have so much data, I’ve decided to consolidate by using the light sheet on books that I have already examined for their binding structure.
Take a look at this:
I was so excited to discover this watermark in a self portrait by Albrecht Durer. Unfortunately I can’t quite make out what it is. Amongst the same set of images here is a tower watermark:
This is the best image I can take. I think there is a tall crenelated tower, with perhaps a smaller secondary tower next to it. I can’t find this in any resource.
So as I consolidate data, I am also searching books and online databases, such as Piccard online and Le Briquet online. These take hours to sift through and at the end of the day all the watermarks end up looking the same.
I mean, how many grapes can you possibly have as watermarks? Well I read somewhere online that Germany once claimed to have had 25 million watermarks attributed to their country before the 1800s!
I have found French pots; they can have one or two handles, lid or no lids.
Recently I found a snake, with shield?
Here we have grapes in a circle
and here is an axe:
As I sift through all my photos I see some marks that resemble each other. I suppose the biggest part of the job now is to compare all the similar photos and find them on the databases. I can’t tell you how excited I get when I find a mark. It is such an overlooked item in a book. Even with the lightsheet, the printing can make the mark hard to decipher. I think I have trained my eyes to find them though.
In the libraries of Europe and America, these marks must seem so inconsequential; but in my small world here they are amazing to my colleagues and myself.