Rich in ornamentation, decorated papers have been in use for centuries—as wrappers and endpapers for books, as the backing for playing cards, and even as
linings for chests and cases. Yet despite the many contexts in which they can be found, they often go unnoticed. This remarkable new book not only showcases
several hundred of the best and most exquisite examples of decorated paper but also provides a fascinating introduction to its history, traditions, and techniques.
Drawing on the Olga Hirsch collection at the British Library, one of the largest and most diverse collections of decorated papers in the world, this beautifully produced anthology will both delight and inspire designers, bibliophiles, and anyone with a love of pattern and decoration.
The aphorism "Don't judge a book by its cover" does not apply to this offering from the British Library. The beautifully designed cover and intricately folded dust jacket serve as the opening curtain for the opulent offering within, which is a history of decorated papers…. Invaluable for anyone interested in design, art history, history, material culture, or fine arts.
P. J. M. Marks
P. J. M. Marks is curator of bookbindings at the British Library. Her previous books include The British Library Guide to Bookbinding, Treasures in Focus: Decorated Papers, and Beautiful Bookbindings. Her most recent publication is a chapter on selected European decorated bookbindings in The Arcadian Library: Bindings and Provenance.