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Watermarks & the History of Paper

Watermarks
&
The History of Paper

With Specimen Samples

Rosette Watermark in mid-15th-century Latin Book of Saints.

Rosette Watermark in mid-15th-century Latin Book of Saints.

[Posted on 5 July 2020, with updates]

We offer selected Samples or Specimens of watermarks for consideration, as we advance (individually and collectively) with gathering together some “sightings” of watermarks found in diverse locations — in manuscript, print, and other settings.  Encountered in the course of research on multiple subjects, these Specimens demonstrate usages which may range widely in terms of geographical locations, purposes, languages, and dates or date-ranges.  Some specimens are dated or datable.  Some (not necessarily the same as those) are more or less localizable.

Some have appeared on this site in blogposts, galleries, and the like. For example, see our blog and its Contents List.

The variety may reveal, for example, the use of a given watermark in many different locations and at multiple dates in Western and non-Western settings.  Identifying watermarks with a known, likely, or surmised place and span of production may also revise conjectural dates assigned to particular cases of use on stylistic grounds of script or decoration.  Thus, a watermark of a known or approximately known date-range could establish that the written or printed production of the item must postdate the conjectured assignment.  Bref, an awareness of the “sightings” of watermarks in diverse settings can offer a tool for better dating of specific materials.

First, some Reference Points.  Then a selection of Samples. or Specimens, grouped by categories of designs, accompanied by descriptions and, where available, pointers to similar or equivalent watermarks.

Followed by a Mystery Bag, or Mystery Corner, with Samples calling for further identification, study, and classification.  Plus a few Notes & Observations about Paper, arising along the way when considering particular specimens.

We welcome your input, advice, corrections, suggestions, and information, including more Samples.

Catalogues & Databases of Watermarks

Many resources online are dedicated to watermarks and the history of paper.

Often they are “confined” to specific interests:

  • individual collections (or groups of collections, as with Bernstein)
  • particular types of materials (such as archives, incunabula, printed books, prints & drawings, etc.)
  • individual printer’s and author’s works (as with William Stansby and Benjamin Jonson)
  • languages of the materials in which the watermarks appear (such as Greek)
  • particular periods in history (such as the Western Middle Ages or the 18th and 19th centuries)
  • and/or regions (as with “Holland, England, and France” or “Finnish, Swedish, and Estonian”).

This — often logistically necessary — concentration or specialization, as research on the vast subjects of watermarks advances, is sometimes linked with efforts to establish and co-ordinate standards for description, classification, and presentation.  It also may often entail consultation of multiple reference resources and sites when searching for comparanda in aiming to identify or classify individual watermarks as they might be encountered among original materials.

What to do when the gathering of specimens of watermarks “in the wild”, that is, not within the designated spheres of the established initiatives and projects?  For example, in private collections?  And when those collections or assemblages cross-over between dates and places of usage of watermarked surfaces, different language groups, types of materials, and the like?  At least, showing the specific specimens online might contribute to the process of identification and integration of often dispersed information concerning watermarks, whether in the wild or “captivity”.

Thus we offer some Specimens, ‘unattached’ to any established project on Watermarks, as a contribution to the study of the subject across different types of uses, periods, and places.  This aim is not intended to re-invent a wheel, because many research resources provide points of reference, gather bodies of material, offer methods or systems of classification, and advance knowledge both in particular fields and in general scope.  We seek a vehicle to transport Specimens of Watermarks encountered in various research settings, not dedicated mainly to Watermarks as such, into a new location where they might ‘park’ among other Specimens so as to receive attention in their own right, among peers, relatives, and, it may be, equivalents.

Online Resources

For example:

  • FilHisp – Corpus de Filigranas Hispánicas
  • Briquet Online: Charles M. Briquet, Les Filigranes (Paris etc., 1907)
  • Churchill Online:  W. A. Churchill, Watermarks in paper in Holland, England, France, etc. in the XVII and XVIII centuries and their interconnection (Amsterdam, 1935)
    via Internet Archive or Hathi Trust
  • Heawood Online:  Edward Heawood, Watermarks, mainly of the 17th and 18th centuries.  The Paper Publications Society (Hilversum, 1950)
    — available for download in sections via Islamic manuscripts reference library, under the heading Monographs, listed alphabetically by author’s surname
  • Likhachev Online:  N. P. Likhachev, Palaeographic Significance of Paper Watermarks / Лихачев Н. П., Палеографическое значение бумажных водяных знаков (St. Petersburg, 3 vols., 1899)
    via www.icon-art.info,
    Thus:

    • Vol. 1. Исследование и описание филиграней (“Research and Description of Watermark [Filigrane]”)
    • Vol. 2.  Предметный и хронологический указатели (“Index and Chronological Indexes”), with
      • “Subject [or Thematic] Index” (предметный указатель) in alphabetical order by type, starting with агнец со знаменем (‘Lamb with Banner’), followed by аист во весь рост (‘Full-length Stork’), etc.
      •  “Chronological Index” (хронологический указатель) from 1293 to 1832 CE
      • “Table of Contents”(оглавление) with an index of the “Subjects”

    Vol. 3.  Альбом снимков (“Album of Images”), with drawings of watermarks, but with a gap between plates 68 and 73 (#366 to #401)

Watermarks in Archives

  • Piccard Online: Gerhard Piccard, Die Wasserzeichenkartei Piccard im Hauptstaatsarchiv Stuttgart.  Findbuch I–XVII (Stuttgart, 25 vols., 1961–1997)

Watermarks in Incunabula

Watermark; also see the Introduction, with information about, for example, methods of reproducing watermarks

Watermarks in Prints & Drawings

Watermarks in Greek Manuscripts

Individual Authors

Specific Regions

  • Asparoukh Velkov and Stephae Andreev, Filigranes dans les documents ottomans / Vodni znat︠s︡i v Osmanoturskite dokumenti, Volume 1:  Tri Luni = Trois croissants, edited by Bozhidar Raĭkov (Sofia, 1983), in Bulgarian with prefatory matter and table of contents also in French

Printed Sources

Watermark Photography & Analysis

Etc.  Please let us know about additions to the list.

Some Observations

Like many of those ventures, we group the watermarks on display according to their designs or motifs, in classes or categories, with sub-groups or sub-categories. (See below.)

Our first aim is to gather the specimens from research work on various projects.  Examples include some materials which have appeared in our blog, in our galleries, and elsewhere on this website. Such reports focus usually on multiple features and aspects of the materials.  Here we focus upon the watermarks themselves.

As the specimens continue to gather, we can prepare for a method or system to present the corpus in database form.  A choice among several different standards of description of watermarks and paper might form part of that later stage, as resources gather to advise and underpin such presentation.

Private Collection, Single-Sheet Document recording 3 Land Purchases in Athis dated 1493 to 1509, Watermark.

Private Collection, Single-Sheet Document for Land Purchases in Athis, France, dated 1493-1509: Watermark of a Cross-Bearing Orb.

For now, we assemble the images and the metadata for specimens in order better to arrive at that stage.  This webpage offers a gathering place for scholars, collectors, and others, who may wish to see, and to show, watermarks of interest and curiousity.  Showing specimens while we continue to gather the materials, and to prepare appropriate images (for example, with scales in view), might encourage additions of specimens to include, corrections and refinements for the metadata of individual specimens (dating, localization, etc.), and further comparanda for them.

The numbering system at present may well undergo revision, especially as more specimens, and more types/classes/categories of watermarks join the groupings.  We provide a unique Identifier of some kind, whether pressmark or other, such as title or descriptor.  For materials without assigned pressmarks (or the like), as may be the case in some collections, a brief description serves as a holding pattern, while information might gather in order to find an appropriate title, collection number, or similar.

Occasionally, en passant, in the course of considering individual or related cases, we offer observations about particular features, the formation of watermarks, and other effects — as with A Note on “Watermark-Wire” and A Note on Job-Lots.  We signal those more general comments by titles in red.  Cross-references to those comments gather in the concluding section called Notes on the History of Paper.

At the end, following the displayed Samples arrayed in their Groups and Subgroups, we offer a Mystery Corner with some specimens that exhibit challenges for classification and identification.  We invite contributions to the quest and suggestions for more.

What’s In a Name: Motifs, Designs, Types, Classes, Subclasses, Etc.

In Bricard, the List des motifs principaux groups multiple categories alphabetically; within each one there are gathered multiple variations.

Piccard Online sorts the types of Motive into these broad groups (with many tiers of subdivisions):

Figuren, anthropomorphe
Fabelwesen
Berge/Himmelskörper
Symbole/Herrschaftszeichen
Wappen
Buchstaben/Ziffern
Fauna
Flora
Realien
Geometrische Figuren
Marken
unbestimmte Zeichen

Approaches to co-ordination of terms yield guides from varied perspectives and purposes.  For example:

      • the “Watermark Descriptors” in some sites cited above
      • the Bernstein Systematics, with three level systematics of watermark motifs in English, French, German, Italian, Russian and Spanish
      • and the IPH Standard set out by the International Association of Paper Historians.

The IPH Standard provides an alpha-numeric key to watermark classes and subclasses.  Assigned capital letters in alphabetic sequence (according to the Latin alphabet), its main classes are:

A. Human figures; men; parts of the human body
B. Women
C. Mammals
D. Birds
E. Fish, reptiles, insects, molluscs
F. Mythical figures
G. Plants (general); flowers; grass
H. Trees; shrubs; creepers
J. Sky, earth, water
K. Buildings, parts of buildings
L. Transport, vehicles
M. Defence and arms
N. Tools, equipment, clothing
O. Musical instruments
P. Containers
Q. Miscellaneous objects
R. Insignia of rank, sceptre, mace, jewellery
S. Religious or magic symbols and signs
T. Heraldry, coats of arms, mason’s marks, trademarks
U. Geometric figures
V. Numbers, numerals
W. Individual letters
X. Monograms, abbreviations with letters
Y. Names (in full)
Z. Unclassifiable watermarks

Not always do the subclasses which subdivide these IPH main groups suit a particular body of material, as remarked by WILC:

Only the letters of IPH’s main classes have been given. Its subclasses are inadequate for the differentiation of WILC’s subgroups . . .

Similarly for the Gravell Watermark Archive’s Watermark Descriptors:

While useful, this index does not always use terms that are congruent with, e.g., Briquet’s classification, and occasionally employs terms that are, today, offensive to many, e.g., “Negro, head of.” We have attempted to use the IPH Key when possible, at least to associate their main class with our primary descriptors [italics added].

For now, we take note of these offerings, and present the specimens which come to hand with reference principally to Briquet’s system of classification — for some of us, a first port of call for many years now when considering watermarked materials — and frequently to Piccard’s.  Call it a starting point.  Our verbal descriptions offer salient distinguishing features of the individual marks which may allow readily for transposition into a different numeric, alpha-numeric, or other form of classification.

As we assemble the specimens and our notes about them, while updating the information and (sometimes) providing new photographs, it seems viable to present the Briquet/Piccard comparanda as it stands to hand.  Citations to others will emerge as they arise.  We continue to explore and to revise, and we welcome suggestions and advice.

Private Collection, Turkish Binding Fragment, Scissors Watermark.

Private Collection, Turkish Binding Fragment, Scissors Watermark.

Our Approach to Motifs, Pro Tem

Without aiming to set out a new system of classification, while seeking to gather specimens which may fall outside the spheres of most projects (say by virtue of the location or ownership of the specimens), we show specimens in broadly defined groups — such as “Floral”, “Fruits”, “Animals”, etc. — so that additions to the specimens, as they arise, might fit within those general groups.

This approach can assemble specimens by such groupings rather than by their date of “admission” into our presentation here.  In time, they might fit within a database arrangement.

For now, we begin to assemble specimens which have come to our attention in the course of individual or collective work over some years.  We welcome advice, additions, and improvements.

Samples or Specimens for Consideration

We offer some samples which we have encountered in the course of cataloguing or researching manuscript or printed materials of various kinds.  In presenting them, we include elements or fields of information. Mostly, they belong to private collections.  We thank the owners of the materials for permission to reproduce them here.

Ideally, our presentation might include all the following considerations (and more if indicated), as the work to present the specimens advances.

Fields of Reference for a Database

1. Identifier:  [E. g. Location, Collection, Shelfmark, Folio Number]

2.  Watermark

Type (Motif)
Scale (in centimeters or inches)
Match or Closest Match (Briquet, Piccard, and/or other standard)

Image(s), ideally with measurement scale in view:  Photograph / Drawing / Both

3.  Paper

Laid Lines:  Number per cm. or per in.
Chain Lines:  Spaced in cm. or per in.
Chain-line grouping (for non-Western): single, double, triple, quadruple, three/two, irregular
Pulp-drift:  Present/Absent
Rib-shadows (i. e., pulp settling in low points between reinforcing “ribs” in the frame):  Present/Absent
Chain Wire Stitching:  Present/Absent
Attachment of Watermark to Chain-line or (Water)mark line:  Present/Absent
[Etc.]

4.  Text (if any):

Manuscript / Print / Both
Type of Text:  E. g., Document / Chronicle / Etc.
Name of Author, Text, Printer, etc. (if known)
Standard reference for the work, if available:  E. g., ISTC Number of the Edition / Etc.

5.  Script Sample (if applicable and available):

[Image]

6.  Language(s):

7.  Date:

Dated [How] / Datable [How] / Probable Date-Range

8.  Origin:

Known / Knowable / Conjectured [How]

9.  Others?

See also the section below on Notes on the History of Paper

Specimens

We offer Specimens.  Where possible, we show photographs of them with a scale in the frame at the time of the photography itself.  Not all the images available have such a scale in the frame, not least when there is no opportunity to photograph anew, as when the original has disappeared, when it has become inaccessible, or when it has altered somehow.

In preparation is a “neophyte’s guide” to photographing watermarks.  It would take into account photography under varied conditions, with various equipment, lighting, etc.

Note that the scale in these images is marked in centimeters.

Motif Group I:  Flora

Subgroup I.1.  Flowers

Specimen I.1.1. 7-Petaled Flower with a Circular Center

Private Collection, “Rainerus 1474 Fragments”

Set of 3 printed leaves from a dismantled copy of Rainerius de Pisis, Pantheologia:  sive Summa universae theologiae (Augsburg:  Günther Zainer, 1474) = ISTC ir00007000 .
An online facsimile of a full copy:

1 leaf has a watermark.

Watermark

Rainerus de Pisi, Panthelogia (Augsburg, 1474). watermark.

Rainerus de Pisi, Panthelogia (Augsburg, 1474). watermark.

Relatives or Equivalent

Probably Briquet 6557 “Milano 1462” or 6560 “Vercelli 1473”
(Fleur | à sept pétales)

For example, Briquet 6557:

Briquet 6557 Flower with 7 Petals.

Briquet 6557 Flower with 7 Petals.

*****

Specimen I.1.2.  Rosette with 8 Petals around a Circular Center

Identifier:  Private Collection, Bifolium from a mid 15th-century book of saints’ lives in Latin, probably from Italy — to judge by the script, watermark, and interest in Italian saints.

Script Sample

Last page (page ‘4’) of the bifolium, with the end of the Vita of Saint Zeno of Verona and the beginning of the Vita of Saint Syrus, with its opening title in red.

Private Collection, Page 4 of Bifolium from a mid-15th-century Latin copy of Saints Lives.

Private Collection, Page 4 of Bifolium from a mid-15th-century Latin copy of Saints Lives.

Watermark

Rosette Watermark in mid-15th-century Latin Book of Saints.

Rosette Watermark in mid-15th-century Latin Book of Saints.

Another view.

Relatives 

Briquet 6588, 6591, 6592, 6596, 6597, 6601, and 6602

(Fleur | à huit pétales)

For example, Briquet 6597 “Chiavenna 1465”

Briquet 6597 Flower with 8 Petals, via Briquet Online.

Briquet 6597 Flower with 8 Petals, via Briquet Online.

 

Briquet 6601 “Lecco 1480”

Briquet 6601 Flower with 8 Petals, via Briquet Online..

Briquet 6601 Flower with 8 Petals, via Briquet Online.

*****

Subgroup I.2.  Fleur-de-lys

Specimen I.2.1.  Fleur-de-lys on Its Own with Trifurcated Stem and Curled Side-Lobes

Identifier.  Private Collection, Undated Turkish Manuscript of 5 leaves with 2 Watermarks (Fleur-de-Lys and Char, “Chariot or Cart”)

Type of Text:  Hadith Commentary in single columns

Script Sample

Page from a 5-leaf Hadith Commentary.

Page from a 5-leaf Hadith Commentary.

Watermark

The mark has a lanceolate upper lobe, trifurcated stem, and tapered lobes at the sides which curve downward to outward-curled tips.

Fleur Watermark Turkish MS close to Briquet 6915.

Fleur Watermark Turkish MS close to Briquet 6915.

Relatives

Closest in Briquet is 6914 “Fribourg 1456”.

Fleur de lis | simple | Isolée

[Also see below, Specimen IV.4.1.1: Char Watermark in the same manuscript.]

*****

Motif Group II.  Fruit

Subgroup II.1.  Individual Fruits or Clusters

Specimen II.1.1.  Cluster of Grapes on Thick Stem with Looped Top

Fragment of 3 leaves of Selbold Cartulary Fragments. See also Latin Cartulary from Selbold (Hessen), that is, Kloster Selbold.
Comprising 1 single leaf + 1 bifolium from different parts of the former volume, the paper leaves have 1 watermark on their bifolium.

Manuscript:  Single columns of 38 lines

Language:  Latin

Text:  Cartulary Fragment of a late medieval copy in book form of the texts of 8 documents issued by ecclesiastical and secular rulers in the 12th to 14th centuries recording the privileges and rights of the monastery or abbey at Selbold in Hessen, Germany.

Date:  Late 14th- or early 15th-century to judge by the script.

Place of Origin:  Presumably Kloster Selbold or its region.

Script Sample

Private Collection, Selbold Cartulary Fragment, Folio 3 recto.

Private Collection, Selbold Cartulary Fragment, Folio 3 recto.

Watermark

Cluster of Grapes with Large Stem, which subdivides the clusters of fruit.  The stem undulates along its length and rises to a backward-turned loop crossing “behind” the stem from right to left.

Grapes Watermark in a Selbold Cartulary Fragment, with Back-Lighting and Scale.

Grapes Watermark in a Selbold Cartulary Fragment, with Back-Lighting and Scale.

Another view.

Grapes Watermark.

Relatives

Related specimens include
Briquet 12991  “Solothurn 1420”
and
13003 “München 1478”

Raisin | à grosse tige

Briquet 13003 Grape Cluster with Thick Stem, via Briquet Online.

Briquet 13003 Grape Cluster with Thick Stem, via Briquet Online.

Piccard Motif: Ranke . . . = Flora – Frucht – Traube – ohne Beizeichen – Stiel zweikonturig – mit Ranke – Ranke hinten geführt

*****

Motif Group III:  Stars, Suns & Heavenly Bodies

Subgroup III.1:  Star or Sun

Specimen III.1.1.  Star or Sun with 7 Pointed Rays

Identifier.  Private Collection, undated Latin manuscript containing an Italian lawyer’s miscellany, from Italy (Ancona?), perhaps late 15th century.

Its texts include a form of oath for Jews and a method of verifying confessions obtained under torture.   One of its essays mentions Pope Calixtus “of blessed memory”.  Of the 3 Popes named Calixtus, with reigns respectively in the 3rd century CE, the 12th century, and from 1455 to 1458, the one mentioned here must be Calixtus III, providing a dating terminus post quem of the date of his death on 6 August 1458 at least for that text.

Script Sample

Private Collection, Italian Lawyer's Miscellany on Paper.

Private Collection, Italian Lawyer’s Miscellany on Paper.

Watermark

The mark has long and unevenly spaced rays of different widths.  The straight, finger-like rays taper with straight sides to somewhat rounded tips.

Private Collection, Watermark of 7-rayed star, late 15th century. "Inverted".

Private Collection, Watermark of 7-rayed star, late 15th century. “Inverted”.

Relatives

Compare the 2 marks in Briquet:  6051 “1396/1399” and 6052 “1589”
Etoile | à sept rayons

According to the collector, there is “No reasonable match in Briquet.  One is much too early, the other much too late, and neither very close in appearance.”

Compare Piccard:
Free-standing Sun with 7 Rays
Berge/Himmelskörper – Sonne – frei, ohne Beizeichen – ohne Inhalt – sieben Strahlen

(However, these have undulating, rather than straight, rays.)

Free-standing Star with 7 Rays
Berge/Himmelskörper – Stern – siebenstrahlig – frei, ohne Beizeichen

(These have straight rays, but mostly from a rounded center.)

Closest in form, without a marked center, seems to be DE8085-PO-41664 “1546, Frankreich”, but with short rays.

*****

Specimen III.1.2.  6-Rayed Star in Circle

Identifier:  Private Collection, Italian astrology manuscript in Latin.

The text is Pseudo-Ptolemy’s Centiloquium (“Hundred Sayings or Aphorisms”) about astrology and astrological principles, in the Latin translation from Arabic by Plato of Tivoli in Barcelona in 1136 (‘anno Arabum 530’).   On this text (“Work B.1.2”), see the entry in Ptolemaeus Arabus et Latinus, with bibliographical references and lists of editions, extant manuscripts, and Latin commentaries. An online transcription, with annotations, represents widely Henry Coley’s 17th-century English translationCentiloquium Ptolomei, Or Ptolemy’s Centiloquium Englished.

Otherwise complete, this copy appears to be missing the first and last leaves.  The several differences in the text are most likely due to being a student’s jotted-down copy.  It deserves to be included among the extant list.

The paper is watermarked.  The latest of the three possible candidates for the mark among Briquet’s specimens is from Bologna, dated 1481.

Script Sample

Private Collection, Italian Astrology Text, Folio 2r.

Private Collection, Italian Astrology Text, Folio 2r.

Watermark

The watermark presents a 6-pointed star of equal rays with pointed tips which touch the unevenly drawn circle enclosing it.  From the top of the circle rises an extended staff topped apparently by a cross.

Private Collection, Italian Astrology Text, Watermark.

Private Collection, Italian Astrology Text, Watermark.

Comparanda or Equivalents

1.  Briquet 6078 “Bologna 1473”

Briquet 6078: Star in Circle.

Briquet 6078: Star in Circle.

2.  Briquet 6081 “Bologna 1481”

Briquet 6078: Star in Circle.

Briquet 6078: Star in Circle.

*****

[See also Specimen V.3.3.1.  Crescent Surmounted by a Crown of 5 Rays and Suspended from a Cross]

[See also Specimen VII.1.1.1.  Glove with Star]

*****

Motif Group IV. Realia (Tools, Weapons, Etc.)

Subgroup IV.1. Tools

Sub-Subgroup IV.1.1.  Scissors (see Briquet, Ciseaux)

Specimen VI.1.1.1. Scissors with Long Blades and Short, Curled Handles

Identifier.  Private Collection, Turkish Binding Fragment.  The detached bifolium was probably reused in a binding board, because its wormholes do not line up.  The text comprises a mixture of Arabic and probably Turkish (with some non-Arabic letters such as p and ch).

Language:  Arabic etc.

Script Sample

In red, fazi (“section”).

Private Collection, Turkish Bifolium with scissors watermark.

Private Collection, Turkish Bifolium with scissors watermark.

Watermark

The narrow, curled handles appear to be open-ended.  With more-or-less parallel contours, but somewhat different widths, the long, straight blades taper to pointed tips.

Private Collection, Turkish Binding Fragment, Scissors Watermark.

Private Collection, Turkish Binding Fragment, Scissors Watermark.

Comparanda

Briquet 3670 1427/1435 “Treviso 1458”

or probably (having the longer blades and more closely curled finger holes)

Briquet 3669 1457/1460 “Genova 1457/58”

Ciseaux

Briquet 3669 Ciseaux, via Briquet Online

Briquet 3669 Ciseaux, via Briquet Online.

 

*****

Specimen IV.1.2.2.  Scissors with Curled Letter or Mark (G?)

Identifier.  Manluq Manuscript of a Treatise on Islamic Law, made up of different types of paper.  Mostly the sheets are Mamluq-style paper with lines barely visible, with a few sheets of Western-style watermarked paper (“Watermark 1”), plus a newer section with different watermarks (“Watermarks 2 and 3”).

The manuscript is undated.  It has a reader’s note at the end with the date AH 860 / CE 1456.

The 3 Watermarks:

  • Specimen IV.1.2.2.  Scissors and Curled Letter or Mark (G?) on a few sheets in the main section
  • Specimen V.3.3.1.  Crescent Surmounted by a Crown of 5 Rays and Suspended from a Cross
  • Specimen VII.1.1.2.  Glove with Tapered Cuff Ending in Rippled Edge

Script Sample

A specimen opening contrasts the Mamluq-style paper and the Western-style watermarked paper, and the different styles of writing upon them.

Private Collection, Treatise on Islamic Law, with both Mamluq-style paper and 2 sections with watermarks: Specimen opening with western and Mamluq style paper.

Private Collection, Treatise on Islamic Law, with both Mamluq-style paper and 2 sections with watermarks: Specimen opening with western and Mamluq style paper.

Colophon

The manuscript is undated.

Private Collection, Mamluq Manuscript of Treatise on Islamic Law, Colo

Private Collection, Mamluq Manuscript of Treatise on Islamic Law, Colophon (undated).

Reader’s Note with Date

At the end of the manuscript, a reader’s note carries the date AH 860 / CE 1456.  This is probably not the earliest reader’s note in the volume.

Private Collection, Mamluq Manuscript of Treatise on Islamic Law, Dated Reader's Note.

Private Collection, Mamluq Manuscript of Treatise on Islamic Law, Dated Reader’s Note.

Mamluq-Style Paper

The lines are barely visible.

Private Collection, Mamluq Treatise on Islamic Law, with both Mamluq-style paper and 2 sections with watermarks: Specimen of Mamluq-style paper.

Private Collection, Mamluq Treatise on Islamic Law, with both Mamluq-style paper and 2 sections with watermarks: Specimen of Mamluq-style paper.

Watermark 1:  Scissors and Letter or Mark

Private Collection, Treatise on Islamic Law, Section of a few sheets with watermark of Scissors with G.

Private Collection, Treatise on Islamic Law, Section of a few sheets with watermark of Scissors with G.

Comparanda

Briquet 3694 (etc.) “Genoa 1433/1434”.  1430s and later.

Briquet 3694 Scissors with Letter G.

Briquet 3694 Scissors with Letter G.

For Watermarks 2 and 3 in the newer section, see

  • Specimen V.3.3.1.  Crescent Surmounted by a Crown of 5 Rays and Suspended from a Cross
  • Specimen VII.1.1.2.  Glove with Tapered Cuff Ending in Rippled Edge

*****

Subgroup IV.1.2.  Balance or Set of Scales

Specimen IV.1.2.1. Balance within Circle

Arabic Manuscript dated by colophon to 1492 CE (= AH 898)

Based on that date, as well as other examples of related watermarks, it looks as though the watermark was some 10–20 years old when the manuscript was written.  The manuscript is incomplete, missing an unknown number of leaves or quires at the beginning.  The cardboard binding, in poor condition, is probably 19th-century.

Script Sample with Colophon

Title:  “bism al Kitab bi-afr Allal al-Malik al-wafamar ‘Ali yarazaf al-‘Aba”.
Scribe:  “al-Mustafi”.

Colophon of Arabic AH 898.

Colophon of Arabic AH 898.

Watermark

Relatives

Briquet 2472 or similar, with “sightings” in the date-range of 1463–1482, but here used rather later.

Balance | inscrite dans un cercle | à plateaux concaves

Briquet 2472 Balance with concave pans.

Briquet 2472 Balance with concave pans.

*****

Specimen IV.1.2.2.  Balance on a Chain within a Circle

Private Collection, “Turkish Binding Fragment”, undated.

Binding fragment from a Turkish manuscript, without a date.  Nothing in Briquet matches all the elements of the design.

Script Specimen

Turkish Binding Fragment with Balance Watermark.

Turkish Binding Fragment with Balance Watermark.

Watermark:   Balance, without close relative in Briquet

Enclosed within a circle, the balance is suspended from a twisted chain which rises some distance above the circle.  The balance has a horizontal beam, an M-shaped fulcrum, and concave pans suspended by triple cords.

Turkish Binding Fragment with Balance Watermark.

Balance Watermark.

Another view:

Relatives

Some comparanda:  Briquet Balance.

Among the variations of this genre, some distant relatives fall among those “inscrite dans uns cercleà plateau concaves” (Nos. 2472–2485).  Most of these similar designs have “sightings” in the 1470s–90s.

*****

Motif Subgroup IV.1.3.  Bell

See below:   Mystery Sample 1.  Bell? in Oval

*****

Motif Subgroup IV.1.4.  Anchor

Specimen IV.1.4.1.  Anchor within Circle

Identifier:  Private Collection, Fragment of Latin Jenson Bible printed in Venice in 1479.

Biblia Latina, printed in Venice : Nicolaus Jenson, 1479. – f°. – ISTC ib00563000
(Electronic fasimile of a Munich copy here)

Watermark

Anchor Watermark in Bible printed in Venice 1479.

Anchor Watermark in Bible printed in Venice 1479.

Relatives

Closest match: Briquet 459, “Wien 1499” (but not identical)

Ancre | inscrite dans un cercle | accompagnée d’un anneau

Briquet 459 Anchor.

Briquet 459 Anchor.

See Piccard Online:  Anchor

A Note on “Watermark Wire”

Like some other watermarks (such as the Haro watermark of a gloved hand, shown below), this mark is attached to a wire which appears to be a chain line, but is not.  Unlike the chain wires, it was not attached to the screen, because it has no pulp drift.

Note, in the detail below, the pulp-drift around the outer lines, but none around the middle chain-line, to which the watermark was attached.  Maybe such treatment can be localized to time and place.

Paper of Bible printed in Venice 1479.

Paper of Bible printed in Venice 1479.

*****

Motif Group IV.2:  Weapons

Subgroup VI.2.1. Bow and Arrow

Specimen IV.2.1.1.  Bow and Arrow:
Upright, with Recurving Double-Contoured Bow and Chevron-Shaped Arrowhead

Private Collection, Marriage Contract in French from Le Thore in the diocese of Cavaillon, dated 26 January 1416.

Script Specimen:  Page 1 of the contract.

Private Collection, 1416 French Marriage Contract Page 1.

Private Collection, 1416 French Marriage Contract Page 1.

Attached Note

Private Collection, Note Pasted to 1416 French Marriage Contract Page 1.

Private Collection, Note Pasted to 1416 French Marriage Contract Page 1.

Watermark

Bow-and-Arrow Watermark in 1416 French Marriage Contract.

Bow-and-Arrow Watermark in 1416 French Marriage Contract.

Equivalent

= Briquet 810 “Draguignan 1412”.

Arc | pointe de la flèche en accent circonflexe

Briquet 810 Bow and Arrow.

Briquet 810 Bow and Arrow.

*****

Specimen IV.2.1.2.  Bow and Arrow, Upright, with Recurving Bow and V-Shaped Arrowhead

Identifier:  Private Collection, 15th-century Composite Theological Manuscript in 2 Parts, from Le Parc Abbey, Belgium.
See A 15th-Century Theological Volume from Le Parc Abbey.

Part A, Section B of the Composite Volume.  Quire of 3 originally blank bifolia (folios 92–97 of Quire 8), with the medieval folio numbering “3–7”, following Quires 1–7 of the theological Compendium of “Albert Magnus” — which have a different watermark (see below, “Double-Headed Eagle”).

Script Sample

Private Collection, Le Parc Abbey Theological Volume, Part A, Section 2: Folio 93r, top.

Private Collection, Le Parc Abbey Theological Volume, Part A, Section 2: Folio 93r, top.

Watermark

Part A, Section 2, Watermark. Folio 96 detail.

Part A, Section 2, Watermark. Folio 96 detail.

Relatives

Nothing close in Briquet.

A closely related example occurs in an illustrated Watermark from the Islamic Manuscripts collection at the University of Michigan: Isl. Ms. 78, Page 38

bow_and_arrow_isl_ms_78_p38

University of Michigan Library, Islamic Ms. 78, page 38, detail bow_and_arrow_isl_ms_78_p38

That specimen features a bow and arrow motif similar to no. 12346 of the Piccard Watermark Collection [1].

Realien – Waffen – Bogen (Waffe) – frei, senkrecht – zweikonturig, ohne Beizeichen

*****

Motif Group IV.3.  Staffs / Symbols of Office

Subgroup IV.3.1.  Crook or Crosier

Specimen IV.3.1.1.  Crook or Crosier with Bulb-Like Terminal (= Briquet 5782?)

Identifier:  Detached leaf from “Otto Ege Manuscript 51”, a copy of Aristotle’s Nichomachean Ethics and commentary in Latin translation, formerly in 3 volumes and containing sections or “booklets” produced at different times and in different centers, with at least 3 different colophons.

See More Leaves from ‘Otto Ege Manuscript 51’

Script sample

Verso of detached leaf from the Nichomachean Ethics in Latin translation, from a manuscript dispersed by Otto Ege and now in a private collection. Reproduced by permission.

Verso of detached leaf from the Nichomachean Ethics in Latin translation, from a manuscript dispersed by Otto Ege and now in a private collection. Reproduced by permission.

Watermark with back-lighting and scale

Private Collection, 'New Leaf' from Ege MS 51, Crosier Watermark with Scale.

Private Collection, ‘New Leaf’ from Ege MS 51, Crosier Watermark with Scale.

Equivalent

= Briquet 5782

Briquet 5782. 5782-1

Briquet 5782

The watermark comprises a fairly simple, upright crook or crozier. Its specific representative in Briquet’s Dictionnaire historique of watermarks appears as one of the specimens under the classification of Crosse (French for “shepherd’s staff”, “crook”, or “crozier”):  Briquet Number 5762, citing a dated example of 1369 CE.  Taken together, the case of this leaf specimen and the colophon of its manuscript permits an earlier dating of the use of this paper stock by 4 years.

The crook or crozier takes the form of a hook curled through nearly one complete revolution to a bulb-like terminal, with a stubby “hilt” or stopper below the angular turn at the base of the curl. Because such a form would not serve a shepherd’s purpose in the field for catch and release of a sheep’s extremities, we ought not think of it as denoting a shepherd’s staff or crook, but as a cozier of some sort, comprising a staff of office.

*****

Motif Group IV.4.  Vehicles

Subgroup IV.1.1.  Chariot or Cart

Specimen IV.4.1.1.  Char (2-Wheeled Chariot or Cart)

Identifier.  Private Collection, Undated Turkish Manuscript of 5 leaves with 2 Watermarks (Fleur etc.)

[See above, Specimen I.3.1:  Fleur-de-lys]

Type of Text:  Hadith Commentary in single columns

Script sample (see above, Specimen I.3.1:  Fleur-de-lys)

Watermark

Hatith Commentary, Another watermark, perhaps 'char' and B 3544

Private Collection, Hatith Commentary, Another watermark, perhaps ‘char’ and B 3544

Relatives or Equivalent

Perhaps = Briquet 3544 “Lucca 1344”

Char | à deux roues

Briquet 3544 2-Wheeled Cart or Chariot.

Briquet 3544 2-Wheeled Cart or Chariot.

See also Type 20. Carro a due ruote, in”8 varietá dal 1414 al 1458″, among Le filigrane delle carte genovesi .

A Note on Job-Lots

The collector observes that “I’m tempted to speculate that these watermarks are so mixed because the paper consisted of remnants of job lots left over from printing projects, which were then collected from the printers and sold by the ream elsewhere, perhaps in the Levant.  No real evidence, just guesswork.  It might explain the appearance of so much Italian paper in the Levant, as this sort of lot would have probably been a lot cheaper than paper directly from the mills.”

*****

Motif Group IV.5.  Architectural Elements

Subgroup IV.5.1.  Column

Specimen IV.5.1.1.  Architectural Column Surmounted by a Latin Cross

Identifier:  Private Collection, Fragments of Spanish Capbreu in Latin and Catalan from a castle in Catalonia, Spain — perhaps at Castelví de la Marca, at Alt Penedés, Barcelona.

This portion comprises 28 leaves; they are mostly bifolia, plus a folded full sheet.  The dated entries extend from 13 to 25 September 1489.  Here is a first report .

Language:  Latin and Catalá

Script Sample

Private Collection, Castle Cartulary, Spain, Script Sample.

Private Collection, Castle Cartulary, Spain, Script Sample.

Watermark

The fragment has consistent watermarks of an upright column topped by a cross (= Briquet 4361).

Private Collection, Castle Cartulary, Watermark of a Column.

Private Collection, Castle Cartulary, Spain, Watermark of a Column.

Relatives or Equivalent

= Briquet 4361 “Narbonne 1488”

Colonne | surmontée d’une croix

Briquet 4361 Colonne.

Briquet 4361 Colonne.

*****

Motif Group V.  Letters & Figures

Motif Group V.1. Geometric Figures

Subgroup V.1.1.  Circles & Ovals

See Specimen III.1.2.  6-Rayed Star in Circle

See Specimen IV.1.2.1. Balance within Circle

See Specimen IV 1.2.2.  Balance within Circle

See Specimen IV.1.4.1.  Anchor within Circle

See Specimen IV.4.1.1.  Char (2-Wheeled Chariot or Cart)

See Specimen VII.2.1.  Pilgrim with Staff in Oval

[Etc.]

*****

Motif Group V.2. [Awaiting]

Subgroup V.2.1.

*****

Subgroup V.2.2.

[Awaiting]

*****

Motif Group V.3. Figures, Marks & Symbols

Subgroup V.3.1.  Cross

See Specimen IV.5.1.1.  Column Surmounted by a Latin Cross

See Specimen V.3.3.1.  Inverted Crescent Surmounted by Crown of 5 Rays and Suspended from Cross

See Specimen VII.3.3.1.  Imperial Orb (Reichsapfel) or Circle Surmounted by Cross

[Etc.]

*****

Subgroup V.3.2.  Circle

See Specimen I.1.1. 7-Petaled Flower with a Circular Center

See Specimen III.1.2.  6-Rayed Star in Circle

See Specimen IV.1.4.1.  Anchor within Circle

See Specimen VII.3.3.1.  Imperial Orb (Reichsapfel) or Circle Surmounted by Cross

[Etc.]

*****

Subgroup V.3.3.  Crescent

Specimen V.3.3.1.  Inverted Crescent Surmounted by a 5-Pointed Crown or Rays and Suspended from a Simple Cross

Identifier.  Private Collection, Mamluq Manuscript of Treatise on Islamic Law, in 2 sections.  The principal section is mainly on Mamluq-style paper, with a few sheets of watermarked paper.  See Specimen IV.1.2.2.  Scissors with Curled Letter or Mark (G?).  A newer section contains watermarked paper with a different watermark (“Watermark 2”).

Script Sample

See above.

Watermark 2

Private Collection, Treatise on Islamic Law, Newer Section with watermark of Crescent with Crown or Rays on Cross..

Private Collection, Treatise on Islamic Law, Newer Section with watermark of Crescent with Crown or Rays on Cross..

Comparanda

Briquet 5220.  “Fabriano 1412”. 1430s.

Croissant | les pointes tournées en haut ou en bas | couronné ?

See also Specimen IV.1.2.2.  Scissors with Curled Letter or Mark (G?)

*****

Subgroup V.3.4.  Three Crescents (“Tre Lune” or “Trois Croissants”)

Specimen V.3.4.1.  Three Crescents in a Descending Row

Identifier.  Private Collection, Turkish Manuscript Fragment with usual 3-Crescents watermark

Script Sample

Private Collection, Turkish Manuscript Leaf with usual 3-Crescents Watermark.

Private Collection, Turkish Manuscript Leaf with usual 3-Crescents Watermark.

Watermark

In their horizontal row of 3, placing their pointed side toward the curved back of the next, the crescents reduce in size in a series from largest at the outer side.

Private Collection, Turkish Manuscript Leaf: 3-Crescents Watermark.

Private Collection, Turkish Manuscript Leaf: 3-Crescents Watermark.

Comparanda

A Note on Tre-Lune Watermarks

Watermarks in the form of 3 Crescents (Tré Lune, Trois Lunes, Trois Croissants, etc.) standing in a row occur plentifully in Italian, and especially Venetian, paper-manufacturing of the 17th and 18th centuries.  Marketed to various regions of the Ottoman Empire, paper with this type (in one form or another) found widespread distribution and use in manuscripts and documents.  Overall, it is one of the most frequent to appear in Islamic materials.

Some information and comparanda:

[Etc.]

*****

Specimen V.3.4.2.  Crescent in Version of “Man-in-the-Moon-in-Shield”

Identifier. Private Collection, Coptic / Arabic Manuscript Fragment.

Script Sample

Private Collection, Coptic / Arabic Manuscript Fragment.

Private Collection, Coptic / Arabic Manuscript Fragment.

Watermark

Private Collection, Tre Lune watermark in late version of man-in-the-moon-in-shield.

Private Collection, Tre Lune watermark in late version of man-in-the-moon-in-shield.

This type of mark ranges from “late” to “very late”, that is, as late as ground-wood pulp “laid” paper.

Comparanda

[Awaiting]

*****

Subgroup V.3.5.  Letters or Marks

See Specimen IV.1.2.2.  Scissors and Curled Letter or Mark (G?)

See Specimen VII.3.3.1.2:  Imperial Orb Surmounted by Letter P?

See Mystery Sample 6:  Row of Letters or Figures?

*****

Subgroup V.3.6.  Numbers

[Awaiting]

*****

Motif Group VI.  Non-Anthropomorphic Figures:  Animals, Birds, Etc.

Motif Group VI.1.  Birds

Specimen VI.1.1.  Double-Headed Eagle, Displayed

Private Collection, Composite 15th-century Manuscript from Le Parc Abbey, Belgium.
See A 15th-Century Theological Volume from Le Parc Abbey.

Part A, Section A.  Quires 1–7  (folios 1–91).  Theological Compendium attributed to “Albertus Magnus”;
namely Hugo Ripelin, Compendium theologicae veritatis in septem libros digestum

[For the watermark in Part A, Section B, see Specimen IV.1.2.1.2. Bow-and-Arrow.]

Script Sample

Le Parc Abbey, Theological Volume, Part A, folios 21v-22r.

Le Parc Abbey, Theological Volume, Part A, folios 21v-22r. Photograph Mildred Budny.

Watermark

Double-Headed Eagle Watermark.

Double-Headed Eagle Watermark.

Relatives

The watermark is somewhat like Briquet Number 230.

Briquet Online, No. 230: Aigle

Briquet Online, No. 230: Aigle

*****

Motif Group VI.2:  Animals (Real, Mythical, Hybrid, Etc.)

Subgroup VI.2.1.  Unicorn

Specimen VI.2.1.1.  Striding Unicorn with Striped-Pole-Like Horn

Private Collection, Composite 15th-century Manuscript from Le Parc Abbey, Belgium.
See A 15th-Century Theological Volume from Le Parc Abbey.

Budny, Illustrated Handlist, No. 15.

Part B.  Folios 97–167 (alternate numbering anew as folios “1”–”70″), arranged in 6 mixed quires (Quires 9–14), comprised of both paper and vellum leaves

Peter the Venerable, Contra Petrobrusianos hereticos

Script Sample

Le Parc Abbey, Theological Volume, Opening between Part A and Part B.

Le Parc Abbey, Theological Volume, Opening between Part A and Part B.

Watermark

[No Image Available Yet]

Relatives

Approximate:  Briquet 10016

Briquet Online, No. 10016: Licorne..

Briquet Online, No. 10016: Licorne.

 

*****

Subgroup VI.2.  Bull

See below:

Mystery Sample 2:  Filleted Bull’s Head?

*****

Motif Group VII.  Anthropomorphic Figures, Full or Partial

Group VII.1.  Garments & Accessories

Subgroup VII.1.1. Glove

Specimen VII.1.1.2.  Glove with Tapered and Frilled Cuff

Identifier.  Private Collection, Mamluq Manuscript of Treatise on Islamic Law.    Undated manuscript, but with a dated reader’s note of AH 860 / CE 1456.

See Specimen IV.1.2.2.  Scissors and Curled Letter or Mark (G?) for information about the manuscript and its 3 watermarks.

Script Sample

See above.

Watermark (“Watermark 3” in the manuscript)

Private Collection, Treatise on Islamic Law, Newer Section with Glove Watermark.

Private Collection, Treatise on Islamic Law, Newer Section with Glove Watermark.

Comparanda

Of specimens in Briquet, number 11133 is the closest, but not very close, and it is too late at “1479”.

Main | aux quatre doigts serrés, le pouce seul écarté

For the other Watermarks in this manuscript, see also

  • Specimen IV.1.2.2.  Scissors and Curled Letter or Mark (G?)
  • Specimen V.3.3.1.  Crescent . . .

*****

Specimen VII.1.1.1.  Upraised Hand-in-Glove Surmounted by 6-Pointed Sun, Star, or Flower

Identifier:  Private Collection, Land-Sale Contract in Spanish from Haro (near Santander) in Castile, Spain, dated December 1494.

Type of Artefact:  Bifolium, with 2-page text on first leaf (pages 1–2) and leaf (pages 3–4) mostly blank, with docketing and upright watermark.

Type of Text:  Land-Sale Contract

Place:  Haro, Castile, Spain

Dated:  December 1494

Language:  Spanish

Script Sample

Opening of document, beginning with the standard “Se pan quantos esta carta de venta vieren . . . ” and naming the seller as a certain Ali Remiro (?), son of Ali Remiro, moro (?)

Private Collection, Sale Contract of December 1497 from Haro in Castile.

Private Collection, Sale Contract of December 1497 from Haro in Castile.

Private Collection, Sale Contract of December 1497 from Haro, Detail.

Private Collection, Sale Contract of December 1497 from Haro, Detail.

Watermark

Private Collection. Watermark on Sale Contract on paper from Haro in Castile, dated December 1494.

Private Collection. Watermark on Sale Contract on paper from Haro in Castile, dated December 1494.

Relatives

Closest in Briquet:  11154 (“Palermo 1482”, Southern Italy, 1479–82).  See Vol. 3, p. 567 = Briquet text

(Main | aux quatre doigts serrées, le ponce seul écarté | manchette somméee d’une fleur ou d’une etoile)

Briquet 11154 Glove with Star or Flower, via Briquet Online

Briquet 11154 Glove with Star or Flower, via Briquet Online.

Closest in Piccard:  Glove with “Blume/Blatt/Stern” (5-pointed), 2 specimens of 1472.

Figuren, anthropomorphe – Hand/Handschuh – mit Beizeichen – Blume/Blatt/Stern – fünfblättrig – ohne weiteres Beizeichen – Blätter – Strahlen spitz – mit Kreis in Blüte/Strahlen – mit Stange – Manschette zweiteilig

      • Ref DE8310-Mc70_115  = Deutschland, Tübingen, Universitätsbibliothek, Tübingen, Mc 70 Bl. 115 (1472)
      • DE8310-Mc70_108 = Deutschland, Tübingen, Universitätsbibliothek, Tübingen, Mc 70 Bl. 108 (1472)

Both examples occur in Part II, a collection of correspondence, in this “Humanistische Sammelhandschrift” (Mc 70) in Latin (catalogue description here, at p. 199).

*****

Subgroup VII.1.2. Hat or Headgear

Specimen VII.2.1.  Cardinal’s Hat?

Private Collection, Latin Liturgical Manuscript Fragment, undated.  Perhaps made in the Low Countries, circa 1480?

Purchased from Boyd Mackus on its own, as the “smaller one” of 3 on offer from the same manuscript.

Script Samples

The fragment of the upper part of a leaf is set out apparently in a single column with at least the top 6 or 7 lines of text accompanied by their musical notation.   The rulings of the columns provide regularly spaced horizontal lines for standard lines of text.  Within those frameworks, however, the script of the text fits between a pair of ruled lines, while the square notation on staffs occupy 4-line staves, as it were.

1. Recto

The recto begins with [Exsultate? /] iusti in Domino rectos decet[?].  See, for example, Cantus Index:  Online Catalogue for Mass and Office Chants.

Private Collection, Latin Liturgical Manuscript Fragment, Leaf of Text with musical notation: Recto.

Private Collection, Latin Liturgical Manuscript Fragment, Leaf of Text with musical notation: Recto.

2. Verso

The fragment breaks off with the opening title for Sancti Calixti papae, presumably the first pope by that name, Callixtus I (Bishop of Rome from circa 218 to circa 222 or 223), commemorated as a martyr in liturgical chant.

Private Collection, Latin Liturgical Manuscript Fragment, Leaf of Text with musical notation: Verso.

Private Collection, Latin Liturgical Manuscript Fragment, Leaf of Text with musical notation: Verso.

Watermark

Because comparanda for the design have not yet been clearly identified, it remains uncertain which way up it should stand.

Perhaps it represents a broad-rimmed, bowl-like hat with a close-fitting, tapered top, whose crown is cropped at the lower edge of the fragment, on which the watermark is inverted. If, say, a cardinal’s hat, it should have tessellated strings appropriate to the galero.

Private Collection, Undated Latin Liturgical Manuscript, Watermark perhaps of Cardinal's Hat.

Private Collection, Undated Latin Liturgical Manuscript, Watermark perhaps of Cardinal’s Hat.

Or, viewed the other way up, might it be such a galero with its strings descending to the cropped bottom of the fragment, or a broad, perhaps lidded, vessel of some kind with its bowl supported on a tapered stem (with cropped bottom)?

Private Collection, Undated Latin Liturgical Manuscript, Watermark perhaps of Cardinal's Hat, inverted.

Private Collection, Undated Latin Liturgical Manuscript, Watermark perhaps of Cardinal’s Hat, inverted.

Comparanda

Possible related designs might include specimens gathered in Piccard Online as Hut – Gestlicher Hut / Kardinalshut.

*****

Subgroup VII.3.2.  Crown

Specimen VII.3.2.1.  Crown On Its Own

Identifier.  Private Collection, Fragment of Arabic manuscript from India.  Its paper is old (that is, pre 19th-century) and watermarked.

Script Specimen

[Awaiting]

Watermark

The mark presents a brimmed crown or cap with a pointed tip.

Private Collection, Arabic manuscript fragment from India, Crown Watermark.

Private Collection, Arabic manuscript fragment from India, Crown Watermark.

Relatives

The mark belongs to the “small crown” type, known to have been made circa 1470–1570.  The precise variety of this mark is difficult to determine, as the writing obscures it.

More typical, and much later, is the “tre lune” three-crescent type. 

Specimen VII.3.2.2.  Imperial Crown Atop a Letter P?

Identifier:  Private Collection, Undated Binding Fragments in Latin apparently from Greece.  4 leaves were purchased out of 8 or 9 leaves from an Israeli seller.  The leaves came from the binding boards of a Hebrew printed book (name not revealed by the seller), apparently printed circa 1530 in Salonica.  The guess about the location derives from other items posted by the seller, including a book which might have been the source of the retrieved leaves.

The text appears to belong to a priest’s common-place book, containing theological snippets and anecdotes for sermons and similar edifying entries.  The forms of the initials in red seem to be late-Byzantine.  The script seems to employ a mixture of Latin and a few Greek letters.  Perhaps the fragment is a product of “Frankish Greece”, such as Salonica where the printed book was produced?

Script Specimens

1.  Side 1, detail

Private Collection, Greek Manuscript Fragment retrieved from reuse as part of the binding of a Hebrew book printed circa 1530 in Salonica.

Private Collection, Greek Manuscript Fragment retrieved from reuse as part of the binding of a Hebrew book printed circa 1530 in Salonica.

2.  Script Side 2

Private Collection, Greek Manuscript Fragment retrieved from reuse as part of the binding of a Hebrew book printed circa 1530 in Salonica.

Private Collection, Greek Manuscript Fragment retrieved from reuse as part of the binding of a Hebrew book printed circa 1530 in Salonica.

Watermark

Private Collection, Greek Manuscript Fragment retrieved from reuse as part of the binding of a Hebrew book printed circa 1530 in Salonica. Watermark.

Private Collection, Greek Manuscript Fragment retrieved from reuse as part of the binding of a Hebrew book printed circa 1530 in Salonica. Watermark.

Comparanda

Nothing comparable in Briquet, not even close.

Among specimens in Piccard’s collection of Krone watermarks, this design shares some features with those “mit einkonturigem Bügel”, “ohne Perlen”, and topped with a circular element.  But none of those combines the elements similarly, nor accompanies a letter.  Some of Piccard’s specimens of the letter PBuchstabe P – Ungebrochen – Einkontorig — exhibit features resembling this one .

The mark appears to be non-standard.  Likely from somewhere in eastern Europe or the Balkans?

[Also under cross-referenced under Letters & Figures]

*****

Subgroup VII.3.3.  Orb or Imperial Orb

Specimen VII.3.3.1.  Imperial Orb (Reichsapfel) or Circle Surmounted by Cross

[From below, Mystery Corner Sample 4
Also cross-referenced above under Geometric Figures:  Circle and Cross]

Identifier.  Private Collection, Document in French recording a series of 3 land purchases in Athis on

      • 1) 21 September 1493
      • 2) 25 November 1493
      • 3) undated, but probably the same day as the notary’s signature, dated 26 November 1509.

The document claims to be a coppye, but the 3 entries are in different hands, so that each is most likely written on, or shortly after, the date of the entry, and then the entire paper was notarized.  The purchaser appears to be a Jehan Matheu; the notary/warden is a Jehan Blariot.

Place

France.  Candidates for this Athis include

Further research might delimit the location more closely.

Script Sample

Face

Private Collection, Single-Sheet Document recording 3 Land Purchases in Athis dated 1493 to 1509, Face.

Private Collection, Single-Sheet Document recording 3 Land Purchases in Athis dated 1493 to 1509, Face.

Dorse

Private Collection, Single-Sheet Document recording 3 Land Purchases in Athis dated 1493 to 1509, Dorse.

Private Collection, Single-Sheet Document recording 3 Land Purchases in Athis dated 1493 to 1509, Dorse.

Notary

Private Collection, Single-Sheet Document recording 3 Land Purchases in Athis dated 1493 to 1509, Dorse: Top (Transaction 3 Ends, with Notary's Signature).

Private Collection, Single-Sheet Document recording 3 Land Purchases in Athis dated 1493 to 1509, Dorse: Top (Transaction 3 Ends, with Notary’s Signature).

Watermark

Private Collection, Single-Sheet Document recording 3 Land Purchases in Athis dated 1493 to 1509, Watermark.

Private Collection, Single-Sheet Document recording 3 Land Purchases in Athis dated 1493 to 1509, Watermark.

Comparanda

Briquet 2994Cercle | surmounté ou traversé par une croix

Briquet 2994.

Briquet 2994.

The watermark in the Athis document is not simply a cercle plus cross, but an “Imperial orb”, or Reichsapfel.  In Latin, the globus cruciger.  It belongs also among the class of Symbols of Office.

The date of the paper must predate the record of Transaction 1 in 1493 (if contemporary), earlier than the “sightings” cited in Briquet.

[Also cross-referenced under Geometric Figures:  Circle and Cross]

*****

Motif Group VII.  Full-Length Human Figures

Subgroup VII.1. Pope

Specimen VII.1.1.  Enthroned Pope with Tiara and Key on High-Backed Throne

Private Collection, Composite 15th-century Manuscript from Le Parc Abbey, Belgium.
See A 15th-Century Theological Volume from Le Parc Abbey.

Part B, Added Slip or Part-Leaf within a copy — with a different watermark, a Unicorn (see above, Specimen VI.2.1) — of Peter the Venerable, Contra Petrobrusianos hereticos

Script Sample

Le Parc Abbey, Theological Volume, Part B and added Part-Leaf between folios 103–104 (or folios "7"–"8").

Le Parc Abbey, Theological Volume, Part B and added Part-Leaf between folios 103–104 (or folios “7”–”8″).

Watermark

Le Parc Abbey Theological Volume, Enthroned Pope Watermark on Part Leaf.

Le Parc Abbey Theological Volume, Enthroned Pope Watermark on Part Leaf.

The mark depicts a full-figure Pope, enthroned, seen in profile facing left (on the verso), wearing the papal tiara and holding an upright key before him.

Relatives

The mark belongs to the type which Briquet classified as “Pape dans sa chair, portant la tiare et la clef de St-Pierre”. Briquet exhibited 5 specimens, Nos. 7548–7550, described here:  Pape dans sa chair . . . . He observed that this “dessin est abondant de 1451 à 1484. . . Provenance troyenne” (see Pape dans sa chair . . . ).

Homme ou Femme | Pape | dans sa chaire, portant la tiare et la clef de St-Pierre

Piccard Online:
Mensch – Figur – Papst (Numbers 21311-21346)

Comparable cases include, for example, Number 21322 (“Worms, 1477”).

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Subgroup VII.2.  Pilgrim

Specimen VII.2.1.  Pilgrim with Staff in Oval

Identifier.  Private Collection, Postilla in Latin, printed in Lyons in 1527:  Endpapers, originally blank, pertaining to a binding no longer extant.

Of that binding, only traces survive:  the stitchings across the spine, the endpapers, and the 2 groups of reused paper leaves formerly pasted together to form the front and back boards.  Retrieved from those positions,the reused leaves come from a medieval Latin manuscript and early modern printer’s scraps.  It is not (yet) known where the printed volume was bound, in Lyons or elsewhere.  The volume has evidence of an Italian provenance; not yet identified, the printers’ scraps have no watermarks.

The ensemble is Budny, Handlist 16.

Watermark

Private Collection, Back Endpaper for Printed Postilla.

Private Collection, Back Endpaper for Printed Postilla.

The watermark depicts a full-length male figure seen in profile, striding forward.  Bearded, he wears a broad-brimmed hat and a knee-length garment, while he holds his bulbous-topped staff at a diagonal across his near-side shoulder.  The oval frame has unevenly rounded contours.

Relatives

In Briquet, the type is listed under Homme ou Femme | Pèlerin  (Nos. 7563–7607).  All those listed are after 1530 CE.

This one looks nearest to no. 7567 “Marigliano 1532”, with “sightings” reported in Les Filigranes, Vol. II, p. 415.  That location is Marigliano in Campagnia, Southern Italy.

Of the Pèlerin mark, Briquet observed that

Le personnage qui répresente ce filigrane a pour caractère distinctif un bâton, ordinairement terminé en forme de crochet; ce qui le fait ressembler à un chiffonier. . . . Les types les plus anciens sont certainement de provenance italienne, lombarde et gènoise, mais la marque devint promptement banale et fuit usitée dès le commencement du XVIIe s., peut-être même avvant, en Pièmont et en Toscane.

Briquet 7567 Pilgrim, via Briquet Online.

Briquet 7567 Pilgrim, via Briquet Online.

Briquet 7567 Pelerin.

Briquet 7567 Pelerin.

Compare Piccard, Pilgrim in Circle

(Figuren, anthropomorphe – ganze Figur – Pilger – im Kreis – ohne Beizeichen)

The closest among them to this specimen is AT3800-PO-21425 “1536, Rom”.

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Mystery Corner

More Samples awaiting clearer study and identification.

Might you help this quest?  Would you like to add more to the mix?

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Mystery Sample 1:  Bell? in Oval

Identifier.  Private Collection, undated Turkish Quran Manuscript Fragment, much used.

Script Sample

Last leaf of the manuscript, with Surah 42, verses 49–51.

Private Collection, Ottoman Quaran Manuscript Fragment, undated.

Private Collection, Ottoman Quaran Manuscript Fragment, undated.

Watermark

Private Collection, Turkish Manuscript, Bell Watermark.

Private Collection, Turkish Manuscript, Bell Watermark.

Relatives

Nothing close in Briquet at all.

The manuscript also has another watermark.  See next specimen.

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Mystery Sample 2.  Cardinal’s Hat or Bell?

The same manuscript as Mystery Sample 1 (see also its Script Sample) has a second watermark, perhaps a cardinal’s hat or a different bell; it is “difficult to tell”.
Here:

Manuscript Fragment, Watermark of undetermined motif.

Private Collection, Ottoman Quaran Manuscript Fragment, Watermark of undetermined motif.

Relatives

Perhaps Briquet 4047 or some other?

That one belongs to the type
Cloche | de formes variées

This mark “isn’t very close to it, and is certainly not early”.

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Mystery Sample 3:  Filleted Bull’s Head?

Identifier.  Private Collection, undated Turkish Manuscript of about a dozen leaves in Arabic, perhaps first half of the 15th century.

The text presents a series of stories, mostly Islamic stories about Jesus (Isa‘), presumably from a Turkish Islamic perspective.

Script Sample

Private Collection, Arabic Manuscript Fragment, mostly with stories about Jesus (Isa').

Private Collection, Arabic Manuscript Fragment, mostly with stories about Jesus (Isa’).

Watermark

Private Collection, Turkish Manuscript, Watermark perhaps of Filleted Bull's Head, say 1st Half of 15th century.

Private Collection, Turkish Manuscript, Watermark perhaps of Filleted Bull’s Head, say 1st Half of 15th century.

Relatives

Not in Briquet.

According to the collection, “It is eastern European, so presumably not something that Briquet would have seen”.  This mark “is odd for many reasons. I presume that it is first half XV century.?? Possibly a Euro-style watermark on a Turkish-style mould, as there is no pulp-drift around the chain-lines.”

Essential features are missing in this specimen, so that, if it is a bull’s head, it is uncertain to which version it would belong among the sub-classes in Piccard Online for Ochsenkopf, for example Mit Augen, Mit Augen und Nasenlõchern, Mit Augen und Maul, Mit Augen, Nase und weiteren Geschichtsmerkmalen, etc. — but at least not Im Profil.

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Mystery Sample 4:  Imperial Orb or Circle Surmounted by Cross

Now moved to Specimen VII.3.3.

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Mystery Sample 5.  Rows of Letters and/or Figures?

Identifier.  Private Collection, Islamic manuscript fragment of more than 70 leaves, from Lebanon, with 2 watermarks (perhaps Serbian). 

Date.  Perhaps 1450–1550?

Script Sample

Private Collection, Islamic Manuscript Fragment from Lebanon.

Private Collection, Islamic Manuscript Fragment from Lebanon.

Watermarks

The leaves include 2 watermarks.

Watermark 1:  3 Letters?  Or 2 Letters and a Mark?

This watermark presents possibly a group of 2 or 3 Greek or Cyrillic letters in a horizontal row. Viewed left to right, the first 2 elements have double contours, while the 3rd comprises single lines only.

Private Collection, Islamic Manuscript Fragment from Lebanon, Watermark.

Private Collection, Islamic Manuscript Fragment from Lebanon, Watermark.

Another View

Private Collection, Islamic Manuscript Fragment from Lebanon, Watermark of '3 Letters'.

Private Collection, Islamic Manuscript Fragment from Lebanon, Watermark of ‘3 Letters’.

The 3rd letter appears to be “lje”, found almost entirely in Serbian, Montenegrin, or Macedonia, rather than Greek or Russian.  So the mark would be from the Balkans, likely to predate the “tre-lune” paper (see above, Three Crescents), and therefore not later than circa 1680, possibly much earlier.  Or perhaps some local craft variety?

Comparanda

???

A Note on the Paper

The specimen seems to be unusual.  The paper has irregularly spaced chain-lines, but it is also watermarked, in a rare combination.  The collector observes that this item

Private Collection, Islamic Manuscript Fragment from Lebanon, page number '55'.

Private Collection, Islamic Manuscript Fragment from Lebanon, page number ’55’.

is strange.  The paper is quite different from anything I have previously seen. The screen is closest to that on the particularly Turkish fifteenth century variety, with irregularly spaced single chain lines not attached to the underlying screen.  But this variety has watermarks, of two or three Greek or Cyrillic letters.  The latter makes it look late; the former makes it look early. Perhaps it’s Russian, and seventeenth century, made in the Caucasus or Central Asia; or maybe it’s Greece or Balkans, ca. 1500.  It isn’t the Italian ‘tre-lune’ and allied paper used from before 1700, or other Italian paper used from before 1500.  And it’s from Lebanon, not, for example, Samarqand, where all other samples conform to the usual Ottoman and imported types. . . .

The marks indicate the chain-lines in the sample. Not attached, not evenly spaced, with no pulp drift, laid-lines are not entirely straight, possible rib-shadows, and very crude pulp. I have a number of Russian samples from 18th and 19th centuries, and this doesn’t resemble them.  Greek or Bulgarian under Ottoman rule — no images allowed, only letters? 1450–1550? The text is definitely Islamic. . . . Perhaps a clue can be had from the page-numerals someone wrote in; the 5 they use is one I’ve never seen anywhere (looks like a J, or an Arabic L).

As for that unusual variant for 5, although it does not appear to be found, for example, among Islamic coins with numerals, “there is a Wiki photo of a Chinese Yuan Dynasty magic square with it:  Yuan Dynasty iron magic square.”  In this light, one “can daydream of Silk Road trading, Serbia to China, then back to Lebanon, but Serbian paper to China would be a case of coals, and ignite at that, to Newcastle”.  In sum, “the plot grows wierder”.

Any suggestions or observations you might have?

Private Collection, Islamic Manuscript Fragment from Lebanon, Chain Lines.

Private Collection, Islamic Manuscript Fragment from Lebanon, Chain Lines.

Watermark 2:  2 Letters?

Row of 2 figures or letters.  Both have double contours, producing components (stems, arms, etc.) of varying widths.  The first, a J, is also Serbian/Macedonian.  So part of the mystery might be solved.  The second resembles a schematic fleur-de-lys with backward-curving arms, extended, club-like upper lobe, and extended stem descending to an expanded base.

Private Collection, Islamic Manuscript Fragment from Lebanon, Watermark of '2 Letters'.

Private Collection, Islamic Manuscript Fragment from Lebanon, Watermark of ‘2 Letters’.

Another View

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Mystery Sample 6.

[Awaiting.]

Identifier

Script Sample

Watermark

Comparanda

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Notes on the History of Paper

Here we gather notices of the Notes & Observations which accompany some Specimens.

  •  Note on “Watermark-Wire”:  Specimen IV.1.4.1.  Anchor within Circle
  • A Note on Job-Lots:  Specimen IV.4.1.1.  Char (2-Wheeled Chariot or Cart)
  • A Note on Tre-Lune WatermarksSpecimen V.3.3.1.  3 Crescents in a Row (“Tre Lune”)
  • A Note on the Paper:  Mystery Sample 5:  Rows of Letters and/or Figures

We aim to gather more observations and notes relating to such issues.  Examples might include an illustrated draft of this paper:

  • David Sorenson, “Paper-Moulds and Paper Traditions:  What Mould-Patterns and Indian Paper Suggest Regarding Origins of Local Papermaking”, delivered on 24 June 2017 at the 26th Annual Conference of the World History Association on “The Atlantic World and Food in World History” (Boston, 22–24 June, 2017)
  • David Sorenson, “Varieties of Islamic Paper: Laid Lines Only” (2012 Congress)

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We give thanks to our Associates, David W. Sorenson, Outi Merisala, Leslie French, and Barbara Williams Ellertson for advice.

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Do you recognize any of these watermarks? Do you know of other locations in which they appear?

Do you have recommendations about classification and description?

Would you like to add some Specimens?  Do you have suggestions for links we should add to the list?

Please let us know.  You might reach us via Contact Us or our Facebook Page. Comments here are welcome too.  We look forward to hearing from you.

Watch our blog on Manuscript Studies for more discoveries.  See its Contents List.

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Private Collection, Selbold Cartulary Fragment, Watermark of a Bunch of Grapes.

Private Collection, Selbold Cartulary Fragment, Watermark of a Bunch of Grapes.