x, -96 pp. Small 8vo, orig. printed wrappers bound in cont. half-sheep & marbled boards, flat spine gilt, black leather lettering piece on spine. Dortmund & Leipzig: G. Mallinckrodt, 1799.
First edition. “An exceedingly rare book of ninety-six pages relating to the oldest record of papermaking discovered in nature, with proposals for new materials for making paper. The essay is printed on paper fabricated from conferva, a water plant, called by Senger water wool. He states that water wool, or river paper, was the oldest form of papermaking in nature. This material he termed a coralline product, being the web of water insects, seed capsules, or insects’ eggs. Senger discusses the probability of sufficient conferva being found as a substitute for rags in papermaking.”–Hunter, Literature of Papermaking, pp. 46-47.
Conferva, according to the O.E.D., is a genus of plants consisting of certain fresh water green algae, composed of unbranched many-celled filaments.
Fine copy and pretty copy. This is a truly rare book: Leonard Schlosser, the greatest collector of the 20th century of books on the history of paper, never acquired a copy. His collection is now at the NYPL and several years ago we were able to furnish a copy, thereby filling a conspicuous gap.
❧ Not in Schlosser’s An Exhibition of Books on Papermaking (Phila.: 1968).
Item ID: 1665