Brocade papers

In the eighteenth century, a special type of decorated paper was made: gold leaf was pressed into sheets of paper, resulting in patterns or images in gold. Printing brocade paper involved thick metal plates or rolls in which the image was cut. This type of decorated paper is characterised by the relief structure resulting from the great pressure needed to print it. Only few complete and undamaged sheets have survived; sometimes these valuable papers are found in old collectiosn of books because bookbinders used them as wrappers for special copies. In those cases, however, we only see a fragment of the paper, and the gold has often worn off the surface. Many brocade papers show the name of the maker in the frame, and the place of manufacture and a serial number. The examples shown were made by famous German brocade paper manufacturers.

Brocade paper wit positive gold relief and pattern of coloured spots. Johann Wilhelm Meyer, Augsburg, c.1760. [PC SERIE W 31]

Brocade paper wit positive gold relief and pattern of coloured spots. Johann Wilhelm Meyer, Augsburg, c.1760. [PC SERIE W 31]

Brocade paper with negative gold relief. Johann Wilhelm Meyer, Augsburg, c.1760. [PC SERIE W 32]

Brocade paper with negative gold relief. Johann Wilhelm Meyer, Augsburg, c.1760. [PC SERIE W 32]

Brocade paper with positive gold relief. Johann Carl Munck, Augsburg, c.1770. [PC SERIE W 33]

Brocade paper with positive gold relief. Johann Carl Munck, Augsburg, c.1770. [PC SERIE W 33]