Three Centuries of European Printed Decorated Papers

St Brides

An example of decorated endpapers

A new exhibition at St Bride Foundation in London focuses on the history of decorated papers in books.

Decorated Papers: Three centuries of European printed decorated papers includes more than 200 papers from the early 18th century right up to the present day with examples from Germany, Italy, France and Britain.

It showcases a variety of the techniques employed by various craftspeople including engraved metal plates, carved fruitwood blocks and lithography. From the sumptuous gold and silver to the most humble serving only to disguise printers' waste, they all found a place in the book trade hierarchy.

The exhibition opens at St Bride on May 9 and runs through June 24, 2023.