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When soaking your stamps (or "floating"), no longer do you need to have sheets of blotting paper laid out across half the room. These books do the same job, but much more neatly.
Once a stamp has been rmoved from its backing paper, it is placed face up on a glossy sheet of thin board - this ensures that, should there be any residual gum on the stamp, it will not stick as it would to a normal non-gloss surface - and a thin board of blotter is turned over on top of it. Then you can turn another page to get another glossy surface, and so on. With six working pages, this means that the Desert Magic Drying Book has the capacity of traditional blotting paper covering six times the area. The stamps stay flat, and they don't get blown away when you walk past or open a window !
We have used these books in our shop for many years, and find that they have an admirable lifespan. However, you have to make sure that the book is not put away damp when not in use (as there is a chance of the pages then going mouldy), or that any dirty items are put in to dry (which might soil or stain the pages). Apart from these pitfalls, the only reason the books might need replaced is that they simply get too worn, or that the pages get a bit warped by continued use.
These drying books carry our recommendation - once you have one you will wish you had it earlier !
Two sizes are available, each with six glossy and six blotter pages.
"Desert Magic I" has a page size roughly half A4. Price £7.00
"Desert Magic II" has a page size roughly A4. price £9.85
(This could be back-breaking work for the laborer in the paper factory, for the mold full of paper pulp was heavy, and the larger the sheet of paper, the heavier.) As the remaining liquid in the pulp drained out through wire mesh, the pattern of the mesh was imprinted in the paper as thin spots which remain visible today when the paper is held up to the light.| |From the thirteenth century on, Greek manuscripts were written increasingly on watermarked paper imported from Italy, and soon from other sources in Western Europe.
However the watermark originated, this new development in papermaking technology was quickly adapted to new functions by the paper factories, which began using them as "trademarks" and to distinguish different grades or batches of paper.
Watermarks were made by bending pieces of wire into filigree designs (French: filigrane) and tying them onto the wire mesh which served as the bottom of the paper mold.
All of these early papers were unwatermarked; they are recognizable from other physical characteristics such as color, consistency and characteristic patterns of the lines visible in the paper.
(Read on, for .) While this archive includes prints of some examples of Arabic paper, it is primarily watermarked papers which will be found here.European paper was made in a rectangular mold something like a tray, consisting of a frame (deckle) which determined the size of the paper, and a bottom made of a wire mesh.
Sometimes this usage was varied; for example, papers were sometimes made with double watermarks so that when the sheet of paper was folded, each folio showed a watermark in the center.| |Beginning in the sixteenth century, in addition to these watermarks, many papers also were given smaller, secondary marks called countermarks.
Frequently the two matched watermarks will occur in each gathering of a codex in alternation, just as they were made by the papermaker.The paper-making process was hard on the molds, and especially on the filigrees that produced watermarks.
And then - judgoing from the papers being produced at this point in time they appeared to be triplets.... These vicissitudes in the lives of the filigree twins resulted in some variations in the normal pattern of matched pairs of watermarks in lots of paper or in gatherings of codices.
In such cases, two unlike watermarks might appear as an unmatched pair, typically alternating in the gatherings of a codex in the same fashion as watermarks made by legitimate filigree twins, but neither one having a twin mark.| | When enough examples of a particular watermark are documented - which is the purpose of the present watermark archive - it is possible to establish a relative dating of the paper on the basis of the gradual deterioration of the watermark and the chain of replacement watermarks.
Likewise, as one type of paper is used up and others replace it, a chain of profiles is produced, analogous to the chain of watermark pairs mentioned above, which can establish a relative dating of codices produced in that scriptorium.| |Establishing that one paper matches another is not easy, given the intentional similarity among watermarks, the short life-span of any one filigree, the the liklihood that it would be replaced by a new one made to look like the first.
In cases like this, the physical features other than watermarks and the chain and wire lines may be the result of how papers were treated prior to their use by a scribe or a center of book production.