Saturday, 19 February 2011

Beauty of the human hand, part 2(b)/3

This manuscript book was written on paper in  c1564. It is a collection of Acts written in old English.The hand is small, delicate,  and even throughout, every page bordered carefully with pencil lines. The paper is handmade with the chain lines and watermarks clearly visible when held to the light.
Paper was invented by the Chinese Han Dynasty,  in 105AD, and eventually taken to the West by c1400. It  derives its name from papyros which was made from laminated natural plants, and was used in Ancient Egypt for writing, then it was made from various fibres whose properties were changed by a process of maceration and disintegration. In the Middle Ages most books were made from parchment derived from animal hides, but from the c14th century onwards writing and the production of books underwent  rapid 'improvement'  in many work processes.

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