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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 using a number of different metalworking tools from a sheet of copper or brass at least 6mm thick. 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 were leaves with figurative patterns, laid out like a picture sheet. This journal's cover portrays a beautiful example of this sumptuous variety of coloured paper housed in Augsburg, Nuremberg and Fürth in Germany.
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