Marbled Monday – Washington Irving by George D. Sproul

One of my favorite hashtags on Instagram is Marbled Monday (#marbledmonday). Organizations and individuals post gorgeous photos of books with marbled paper. Some examples are stunning in their color combinations and complexity while others are more subtle and simple.

While weeding photos on my phone this weekend, I came across pictures of a marbled book that I took some time ago, probably at the Book Barn in Niantic, CT. These days I tend to take photos of beautiful books that I come across rather than purchasing them. Hashtag limited space.

Marbled Book produced by George D. Sproul (Washington Irving, Columbus)

I was struck by how the bright colors pop against the dark leather.

Marbled Book produced by George D. Sproul (Washington Irving, Columbus)

A nice surprise to find the marbling continued inside on the end papers. This book was made in 1908, but the fuchsia, lime green, and purple on the creamy paper reminded me of the 1980s. I had a jacket back then with these colors.

Marbled Book produced by George D. Sproul (Washington Irving, Columbus)

Close-up. It’s a bit of a non-design, design, isn’t it? Much of the marbling I’ve seen has more definitive patterns.

The book is from the series, The Works of Washington Irving, Volume Nineteen, Columbus, Part 1. As you can see, it is a limited edition series produced by New York publisher George D. Sproul.

Cover Marbled Book produced by George D. Sproul (Washington Irving, Columbus)

In a nutshell, paper is marbled by adding colors to treated water and then gently placing a prepared piece of paper on top for just a few seconds (from the videos I’ve seen, anyway, which make me want to find a class on marbling). The pattern adheres to the paper and voila!

If you’d like to learn more about the process of marbling, click here to read “Rare books and the marvelous art of marbling” by Martin Lewis on the Museum of New Zealand’s website. The post includes videos and links to more marbling information.

Do you have a favorite marbled book? Feel free to post a link or photo in the comments!



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