July 15, 2014

End Papers

One of the things I do in my day job is curate our collection of paintings and artifacts, including a stacks library of more than 50,000 books, ranging in age from the early 1600’s to the mid-1980’s. Sadly, there is no longer the need for a librarian, because so much of what we have has either been digitized, or it’s hopelessly out of date. However, I probably get a request every other week to hunt up some esoteric piece of information, like the application to our organization for the doctor who treated Edgar Allen Poe before he died, or some long-forgotten book, like an early 1800’s medical school anatomy text.

In looking through these books, I’ve found that they’re a treasure trove of gorgeous end papers! This is a Spanish moir√© patterned end paper. I think it’s one of my favourites!IMG_1119

This week, while I was looking for an original patent that is somewhere in our files, I grabbed my camera to capture some of the different end papers I saw in my search. Who knew that each of the patterns had names?

French CurlBouquet or Peacock pattern

Turkish pattern

Schro√ętel patternShell pattern

In addition to the marbleized patterns, there were also some lovely printed end papers.

And then there are the book covers!

It’s always such fun to see what I discover when I explore the stacks!  For more information and explanations of the marbling techniques, check out this collection from the University of Washington’s library. Here.

31 comments:

  1. Gosh, these are beautiful! I love marbled paper and it gives me a little thrill each time I open a very old book and find attractive end papers such as the ones you feature here. Thank you for taking the time to photograph them for your readers pleasure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had been meaning to do this for a while, so finally gathered it all together. There are still another 49,980 books to look through!

      Delete
  2. I looooove these papers and I used to collect papers and keep them but then it ended up just being stored so I stopped except I wanted to wallpaper a loo but it might require skill to balance out all these patterns. The schroetel

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry got cut off but that pattern looks great as the back of shelves. But my cousin is a librarian. And she says she is soo busy with work which is a hopeful sign!

      Delete
    2. I want to try and scan some of these and see what I can do with them.

      Delete
  3. The papers are beautiful but what really caught my eye was Anatomy of the Groin.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Marvellous patterns but I was particularly drawn to Anatomy of the Groin - heaven! Perhaps we can have a list of some other marvellously named tomes in the future!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are some crazy titles! I will have to start looking for them and taking pix. I always have my camera/phone up in the stacks with me, because it's a wee bit creepy.

      Delete
  5. Your great tidbits --end paper designs have names-- is a reason I love your blog. The green print with coleus would make a lovely, large-scale wallpaper or fabric.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It almost reminds me of that great banana leaf print wallpaper.

      Delete
  6. I think I love the first one best too. It looks as one is looking through very clear water in the shallows at the beach. Beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Fascinating . . .including the University of Washington site, where I learned about Paste Papers for the first time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that the second to last image is one of the paste papers. It's a fascinating cover. I saw it just as I was leaving the stacks and had to snap a picture!

      Delete
  8. I work with marbled paper and most of these lovely old patterns are still being produced in small workshops today. Some artisans are willing to precisely reproduce an old pattern and many use the old techniques with a personal flair. Thank you for your generous posts, I enjoy seeing the things that catch your eye and think your dog is darling.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Beth! I just looked at your website and all i can say is WOW!

      http://www.scanlonapparati.com/

      Delete
    2. What a nice compliment!
      Thank you Meg and to your readers who are also visiting.
      Sincerely,
      Beth

      Delete
  9. Meg these papers, and even the covers are wonderful work of art! I love your job!!
    xoxo
    Karena
    The Arts by Karena

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I love my job, too... well, mostly!

      Delete
  10. Beautiful! Some of these look like living organisms you'd see under a microscope.

    Love your creativity, Meg!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I never thought of it that way, but you're right!

      Delete
  11. P.S. I forgot to say that I took a wonderful paste papers class several years ago. I think it was in Fells Point. I used what I made as wrapping paper (I never use conventional wrapping paper; I always make my own in one way or another). I still have some of those paste papers; they're so pretty I'm loath to give them up.

    ReplyDelete
  12. stunning + love the cover of Anatomy of the Groin + such names! xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I totally need to do a post on some of the crazy titles we have! Every time I go into the stacks I find some hilarious book.

      Delete
  13. Beautiful papers! My first thought was that some of the papers reminded me of William Morris patterned wallpapers. I was compelled to look up images of Morris' work and was surprised to learn that he actually was a bookbinder and the creator of Kelmscott Press. ...wonder if any of the "stacks" books are published by Kelmscott. Great post Meg!

    ReplyDelete
  14. These are so beautiful and I love how so many seem to be reflections of water. I remember going through my grandfather's book collections and being caught up by the paper designs. What a wonderful aspect to your job, to be able to actually be looking through these treasures so often!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Oh, so pretty. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for reading and commenting on Pigtown*Design. I read each and every comment and try to reply if I have your e-mail address.