Antique Italian book, Verona, dated 1741, covered with Antique papier dominotè Remondini family, antique book, highly collectable book


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Antique Italian book, Verona, dated 1741, covered with Antique papier dominotè Remondini family, antique book, highly collectable book.

Wonderful and rare antique Italian book dating 1741, printed in Verona (Romeo and Juliet hometown!).
This antique book is written in Latin and antique Greek, it’s titled ” Compendium Prosodiae Grecae”, written by M. Christophoro Cellario. This lovely book is covered with a wonderful antique Italian papier dominotè, featuring thin grenate red stripes and a design of wild flowers and herbs in tones of aubergine on a light beige base. This paper has been surely produced by the famous Remondini family.
Precursor to the modern wallpaper, the dominotè papers were produced modestly and cheaply, relative to marbled papers, and used as various furnishing coverings as well as in the book industry as book covers (while manuscripts awaited to be bound). Most often they featured geometric or floral patterns – eventually becoming fashionable amongst the higher classes around 18 century. Eventually dominoté paper production spread to Britain and Italy, notably by the famous Remondini factory, located in Venice Republic in the city of Bassano del Grappa, active from 1660 to 1860, which produced these to much larger success leading to the eventual demise of the the French counterpart industry.

‘Domino’ printed paper is decorated paper, the patterns having been printed using a woodblock with colour applied using a paintbrush or stencil. In France, these sheets of paper decorated with geometric or floral patterns peaked in popularity during the second half of the XVIIIth century. At the same time, other countries also had their own specific printing methods and were making their mark printing substantial volumes of decorated paper. Germany favoured the copper-plate printing method that produced ‘gold embossed’ paper. Italy used a method that employed several woodblocks, producing very intricate, richly coloured paper.

‘Domino’ printed paper was produced by artisan ‘dominotiers’ – craftsmen who sometimes also made playing cards (cartiers) or produced images (fabricants d’images). The history of making ‘domino’ printed paper is complex.

‘Domino’printed paper was used to decorate the interiors of boxes, drawers and small items of furniture. They were used mainly for covering books and brochures. Printed paper with large floral patterns tended to reproduce patterns from brocade, Cordoba leather and Indian fabrics. They were designed as wallpaper. Assembled side by side, they produced a continuous, repetitive pattern.

Dominotiers set up their workshops all over France. Paris, Chartres, Le Mans and Orleans were the most important production centres for popular images and decorated printed paper at the time.

The workshop of a dominotier is small in size, often organised as a small family-style set up.
The dominotier engraves the wood stencil himself or calls upon the skills of an artisan engraver. The woodblock print is dabbed with a « frotton » on a sheet of paper in so-called « crown » format (dimensions approx 45 x 36 cms). Colour, composed of natural pigments and gum Arabic, is then added by hand or using a stencil. The sheet has its name, the town where it was made, and a number written on the edge of the sheet.

‘Domino’ printed paper was printed in thousands of copies by the craftsman. They were distributed in bulk quantities and sold cheaply. These fragile prints, destined for short term use, were not highly regarded due to their popularity but they are now rare. They have not completely disappeared into oblivion however. In recent years a clutch of historians, collectors and artisans have brought the art back to life.

Amazing antique book to collect and to display in your home decor, perfect for your French 18th cent. inspired corner!

This book is in good antique conditions for its considerable age, there are no lost pages, spining is in good shape, there are some halos to the cover as you can see from photos and some age spots to interior pages.

7 3/8″ by 4 3/4″, 3/8″ tall (18.8 cm by 12 cm, 9 mm tall).

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