Augsburg and Nuremberg: 1720-1820. A quantity of five sheets, the largest being 28.5 cm x 19 cm, the smallest 18 cm x 16.5 cm. The specimens offered here are smaller portions of what once were larger sheets. One of the samples was apparently used as a back wrapper at some point as is suggested by the stab holes along the right side. ADDED: an assortment of 13 small sheets of marbled and decorative papers of varying sizes (18th-20th century). Item #3075
Small but very useful (and very pretty) group of 5 gold-printed Brocade Relief papers. With one exception, the makers of these brocade papers have been identified. We believe that the present assemblage will prove to be a joyful source of bibliographic inquiry for students young and old, as it offers a small sampling of luxurious decorated papers from the early 18th century (Abraham Mieser of Nuremberg) to the early 19th century (G.N. Renner & Abel of Augsburg). NB: We have taken the liberty of adding an assortment of 13 small sheets of later decorative papers.
Concerning gold-embossed papers: "[These] were first made at the beginning of the eighteenth century, and continued to be produced until about the middle of the nineteenth century. The method of making them was from a deeply-engraved copperplate, heated and covered with imitation gold (or more rarely silver) leaf. The metal used was an alloy of copper, tin, zinc or even lead. The paper which was first coloured by hand or stencilled, was placed on the plate and passed through a roller press. The 'gold' adhered to the lines of the design engraved in the plate, and the surplus was brushed off, leaving the pattern embossed and outlined in gold on the colour paper. The eighteenth and nineteenth century printers of Augsburg, Nuremberg and Fuerth in Germany excelled in the manufacture of these papers." (V&A)
Thanks to our friends at "We Love Endpapers" Facebook group, we are happy to report that specimen on painted blue paper was made by G.N. Renner & Abel (we are grateful to Lisa Baskin for posting on 7/5/19 an image of a large sheet that was signed by the manufacturer). This firm was active in Nuremberg and the present sample dates from ca. 1820 (see Haemmerle no. 385) and survives as the lower left corner of a sheet that was originally ca. 39 x 34 cm, and depicted in the center Adam and eve with pairs of animals.
Remarkably, yet another portion of a different G.N. Renner & Abel gold-printed paper is also present herein (also the lower left corner), namely the six Saints on brick-red painted paper (see Haemmerle no. 387). This sheet was originally ca. 40 x 33 cm and featured twenty-eight saints, arranged in four rows of seven.
The present group has two specimens that were clearly made in the same shop from the same die, but on different sheets at different times. One of these was used as wrappers on what was mostly likely to have been a pamphlet (surely the lower cover). That two such 18th-century gold-printed Brocade Relief papers have been found in Lockhart, Texas is remarkable. The maker was Abraham Mieser (ca. 1676-1742) of Augsburg, probably the most important manufacturer of such papers in the early part of the eighteenth century, and possibly the first to produce brocade paper in Europe (see Richard Wolfe, Marbled Paper, p. 23). The design on our sample is identical to that which is illustrated in the 1984 "Europaische Buntpapiere Barock bis Jugenstil" exhibition catalogue entry 72 (Tafl. 4) and Haemerle no. 187. The original size a full sheet was ca. 39 x 31 cm.
The maker of the final sheet has not been identified, but on a full sheet this die would depict eight saints (two rows of four) which measured originally 39 x 33 cm. Other examples can be found in the Olga Hirsch Collection (Cambridge), Nuremberg Germ. Nat.-Mus., Berlin Kupferstichkabinett, and Munich Bayer. Nat.-Mus. (We are pleased to extend our thanks to Simon Beattie for informing us to the fact that this paper is Haemmerle 648).
Several are the names for these kinds of papers: "Buntpapier / Sierpapier," or more specifically "Brokatpapiere / Brokaatpapier"; and in spite of the place of manufacture: "Augsburg / Dutch Gilt Brocade paper." Visually they are terrific, but they really should be physically handled, because they are actually printed relief papers. These are created by embossing through means of a die, here on painted papers of different colors; thus they are not 2-dimensional but 3-dimensional. The way the light plays on the gold dazzles the eyes of the viewer, and the individual sheets to appear vibrant (from the Latin "vibrare" -- to vibrate).
ADDED: an assortment of 13 other small sheets of decorative paper which await bibliographic scrutiny!
See especially Albert Haemmerle's chapter "Verzeichnis von Brokat-Papieren" in his still-indispensable "Buntpapier" (1977), pp. 197-245.