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.
The Olga Hirsch collection at the British Library contains some of the best and most exquisite examples of decorated paper and each of the three notebooks in this set has a cover reproducing one of its stunning, richly ornamented papers.
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.