The find of the week – January

It is saturday and I am writing this quickly before I start making the custard for the ice cream…

When I first started the search for watermarks every little grape and heart and crown was exciting. Now I have the “oh that’s only a heart” attitude. When there are no watermark, there is a little sense of outrage. Anyhoo…this week, this is what I found:

A unicorn, well at least two parts of him. His op half was in the flyleaf of volume 1 and the bottom part was in the back fly of volume 3 of

Historia theologico-critica de vita, scriptis, atque doctrina sanctorum patrum : aliorumque scriptorum ecclesiasticorum trium primorum saeculorum ex virorum doctissimorum literariis monumentis collecta (RB JES 4979) at the National Library, printed in Augsburg in 1783
Unicorn on edge of cross grain paper, with belt and ornament

Unicorn on edge of cross grain paper, with belt and ornament

bottom quarter of the unicorn in vol3

bottom quarter of the unicorn in vol3


Just as with the Virgin Mary in a previous post, I have searched online databases and all the books I can get my hands on, to no avail. So if anyone can tell me if they have seen this same unicorn, I would be most grateful.

Dos a dos binding

Dos a dos binding

This is my project book of the research I am currently undertaking. It is easy to carry around: 150 bindings and 260 watermarks! I’ll be giving this to my friend Fabienne when she visits from Montevideo….

Next…I found two jokers in the same book. This has happened to me before in The History of the Plot. These two came from :

The primitive origination of mankind, considered and examined according to the light of nature / written by the honourable Sir Matthew Hale (RBfCLI 4016) printed in London 1677.

I am getting my son Max to photoshop all my watermarks so that they are clearer. This is hard to see. But once your eye is trained you can see any number of details.

And lastly, please find below a man on a horse. They are also sometimes called picadors. I found him in:

Mellificium theologicum ad dispatandum et concionandum proficuum… : Colligente & producente m. Johanne Binchio (RB De vesci 920)

man on horseThis was printed in Amsterdam in 1658.

I  am currently just collecting data and putting them in a book. This really has made my week!





Filed under bookbinding, libraries, museum

2 responses to “The find of the week – January

  1. your webpage is beautiful and aspiring, thank you for sharing.
    How did they make the watermarks?


  2. the mould has wires that go up and down (usually chain lines) and lots of wires that go across ways, (usually the laid lines). The chain lines are few and thicker, and the laid lines are many and close together. A copper wire pattern is attached to this and then the pulp is poured on. Where the pulp touches the wires, there is less pulp and so the paper is thinner, and the images forms. In a nutshell.


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