Hilversum: The Paper PublicationsSociety, 1956This watermark reference book includes an annotated bibliographyof publications on watermarks and historical profiles of many commonwatermarks, with 765 illustrations, mostly of Central Europeanwatermarks.
Also includes lists of English and European mills and their watermark symbols, a list of English papermakers, a photocopy of a British manuscript on papermaking, and indexes from autograph books.
As has already been noted, by the early 1790s much British paper was wove, and often enough without watermarks, thus lacking the traditional indicators of format. Hence the Act of 1794, in requiring the inclusion of a watermark, in the form, at a minimum, of a date, has provided the modern bibliographer with the means of undertaking the analysis of printed volumes, in particular the means of determining format. The Act had the effect of encouraging the migration of all watermarks (now increasingly paper-makers' names or initials) to the edges of the sheet, often accompanying the date. I am not aware, however, that there has been any systematic illustration of the form of watermarks in wove paper from around the turn of the century or their disposition within the sheet. But since a familiarity with the various patterns may be an aid in determining format (or in undertaking other forms of analysis), I have selected a number of examples from the period for illustration here. (It is likely that further patterns will be revealed with the use of a differently constructed sample.)
Comparative research of all available impressions is necessary in order to complete this study. According to Sheila O’Connell (Prints and Drawings curator, British Museum) two impressions of this print within the BM collection also have “watermarks. So, despite his public claim, there is no evidence at this point that Brooks used an Irish paper source.
The outcome of this investigation inspires some interesting speculation regarding Brooks’ advertisement and many unanswered questions awaiting research in the future! Why did Brooks go to the trouble of promising to use Irish paper and evidently not do so? It could be that there was simply a lack of high quality Irish paper at the time of publishing. Or, Brooks may have used Irish paper in an earlier version of the print. It is also possible that Brooks made an entirely false claim to use Irish paper; the practice of puffery was common in newspaper advertising. Moreover, the promotion of the Irish papermaking industry – especially for producing high quality white paper – may have influenced Brooks’ to use Irish paper. His reference to “superfine Royal Irish paper” might have been designed to attract the attention of the reader, the Dublin mezzotint-buying clientele. Brooks may therefore have been pursuing a clever marketing strategy to ensure the sale of his mezzotints.
A paper sheet is formed when a cotton and linen pulp solution is drained through a sieve distributing a layer of pulp fibres behind. Up until the mid-18th century, paper was mostly made on a ‘laid’ metal-wire sieve, called a mould. On commissioning his moulds from the mould-maker, the papermaker may include a watermark or countermark design twisted into the metal wires. This watermark identifies the papermaker, and so it was used as a hallmark of quality. The papermaker may also include his initials or his countermark in the sheet. Hundreds of watermarks are recorded. Watermark identification is usually of great importance for dating paper and determining the location of the paper mill.
The NLI print is an off-white laid sheet and measures 531 x 397 mm (see fig. 2). The print matches Brooks’ advertised plate of 21 x 16 inches (or 530 x 400 mm). By identifying a watermark in the NLI print, could we reveal for the first time if Brooks did indeed use Irish paper?
Watermarks were often characteristic of a certain size sheet. Thewatermark is often linked with paper sheets (the term refers to a standard size of paper measuring 25 x 20 inches). In the 1740s, the watermark is associated with Dutch papermaking firms, including Gerrevink and Villedary, Honigand Honig & Zoonen. A countermark, which sometimes gives the papermaker’s name or initials and also the year of production, is not visible in these prints.
watermarks from the Briquet archive)
Catalogues: Briquet, Heitz, Likhachev, Mazzoldi, Piccard (in WZIS), Wittek, Mosin, Stankovich.
> Cartography > Image processing > Paper
Another mark shows the letter "S" placed to one side of a circle;another symmetrically placed letter has apparently fallen off themold:If a researcher is fortunate and matches a watermark with anidentical published mark, then the date and place of use of thecited paper sheet can be used to infer a time period for the use ofthe paper mold which made both sheets.
What follows is a series of illustrations of the disposition of dates (and other watermarks) in paper made in wove moulds between 1794 and the 1820s. All examples are identified by details of the publication and a note of the gathering/sheet in which the particular watermark is located, with, where appropriate, brief comments on the volumes in which the particular examples have been found and more general observations suggested by the particular examples (the location of the copy from which the example is drawn is recorded in a footnote).
Garland Pub., 1979.A Catalogue of Foreign Watermarks Found on Paper Used in America, 1700-1835 (1983), with
Also included are Gravell's research notes, papers he wrote on the Dylux process and theresearch value of watermarks, and secondary source material dealing with papermaking andpaper mills.
Briquet by comparison published only16,000 watermarks for much of Europe during this same period- Schulte estimated that there were 1 millionEuropean watermarks before 1800.Rather than letting these numbers discourage us completely, weshould use them as a caution against being overly confident andhasty in watermark identification.