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4 Harrison's Lane
Woodstock
Oxfordshire
OX20 1SS
Contact Susanne Schulz-Falster
Telephone 01993 811100
Specialists 17th and 18th Century Continental Books, Social Sciences, History of Ideas, Printing History, Technology, Women and Society, Illustrated Books, Arts, Manufacturing
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4 Harrison's Lane
Woodstock
Oxfordshire
OX20 1SS
Contact Susanne Schulz-Falster
Telephone 01993 811100
Specialists 17th and 18th Century Continental Books, Social Sciences, History of Ideas, Printing History, Technology, Women and Society, Illustrated Books, Arts, Manufacturing
Susanne Schulz-Falster Rare Books
Stand B06

The First English Book on Paper Marbling

WOOLNOUGH, Charles W.

The Art of Marbling as applied to book edges and paper, containing full instructions for executing British, French, Spanish, Italian, Nonpareil, etc.etc. Illustrated with specimens. With a brief notice of its recent application to textile fabrics, and particularly to the cloths so extensively used by bookbinders. London, Alexander Heylin, 1853., London, Alexander Heylin, 1853. 1853

Small 8vo (161 x 106mm), pp. viii, [9]-80, with 29 full-page specimens of marbled paper and 4 full-page specimens of marbled cloth; original ribbed black blue-veined marbled cloth, blocked blind and with gilt-stamped and lettered upper cover, a.e.g.; extremities a little rubbed and head of spine chipped, but in all an exceptionally nice copy in its original binding.

Note
An exceptionally nice copy in the original marbled cloth binding of the extremely rare first edition of the single most important British work on marbling. ‘A major event in British marbling, and surely one of the prime events in the entire history of marbling, occurred with the publication of Charles Woolnough’s The Art of Marbling. There is no denying that (this book) was the most remarkable contribution to the literature up to that time, and it remains, together with a handful of other manuals, an essential work … he not only provided for all posterity the most intimate and detailed information on the actual materials and methods of the craft then in us, but also gave precise instructions for making approximately thirty patterns – the complete armamentarium of the English marbler at mid-nineteenth century – including both older designs and those that recently had become popular’ (Richard Wolfe, Marbled Paper, pp. 77-80).
The volume included the marbled cloth samples which Woolnough had been trying to promote for the Great Exhibition of 1851.
Until well into the nineteenth century the marbling process had remained a closely guarded secret. Apprentices were taught only separate stages of the craft, not the entire procedure. Woolnough, manager of the Patent Marlbed Cloth Manufactory at 51 Bunhill Row, was shunned by his colleagues.

Bibliography
Mejer 2057 (1881 edn); Ph. J. Easton, Marbling: A History and Bibliography, p. 178.

Edition
1st edition

Condition
fine

Binding
marbled cloth
£3,600