Gold leaf blocking on leather and parchment had been practiced in Europe since the early 16th century. From 1698 onwards this technique was applied to paper. What became known as brocaded paper was produced in a relief printing process - a design cut in relief from a sheet of copper or brass at least 6 mm thick, using a number of different metalworking tools. The repertoire of shapes used to decorate brocaded paper, among them ribbons, tendrils, ... arabesques and floral blossoms, closely echo the patterns adorning the leather wall coverings and silk damask of the time. Towards the end of the 18th and in the 19th century the predominant motifs chosen were leaves with figurative patterns, laid out like a picture sheet. Our journal cover designs are based on some beautiful examples of this sumptuous variety of coloured paper housed in museums in Augsburg, Nuremberg and Furth in Germany.
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