These are paste papers from an early 20th-century edition of the German translation of Le déserteur, an opéra comique by the French composer Pierre-Alexandre Monsigny. Book from the collection of Leon Laserson.
Among other exciting things, I found in the last volume of the Dutch Printers Yearbook from 1911, was an article by Reinier Willem Petrus de Vries Jr. about a technique that "recently" attracted the attention of some bookbinders — starch marbling.
Marbling paper for book endsheets is a great way to add a little more class to your bookbinding project. Marbling is very simple to do and every print is completely different which further helps to add originality to your books. Your bookbinding marbling adventure doesn't have to stop at endsheets, you could also experiment with marbling the coverboards, the book cover material or even the book block fore-edges.
For the general craft-worker or bookbinding hobbyist you'll likely be able to complete adequate paper marbling with materials you can find at home or pick up from local stores (you can also buy marbling kits that have everything you need to get started). For those looking for a more professional finish you'll be pleased to know that marbling is an art, and as such there are many techniques and concepts you can learn to make your books stand out from the rest. I would recommend checking our post on the Top 5 Must Read Books on Marbling Techniques + Reviews.
Coloured Paste Paper
This kind the binder can easily make for himself. Some colour should be mixed with past and a little soap, until it is a little thicker than cream. It should then be spread upon two sheets of paper with a past brush. The sheets must then be laid together with their coloured surfaces facing each other, and when separated they will have a curious wavy pattern on them. The paper should then be hung up to dry on a string stretched across the room, and when dry glazed with a hot iron. A great deal of it is used in Germany for covering books. Green, reds, and blues have a very good effect. There are many other kinds of paper that may be used, but the above five different varieties will give a very good idea and serve as points to work from. The many bookbinders’ material dealers send out pattern books, and in them some hundreds of patterns are to be found. Continue reading →