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Subject: Metallic paper

Metallic paper

From: Katharine Lockett <klockett>
Date: Thursday, January 7, 1999
A response from Konstanze Bachmann (posted with permission):

  Katharine Lockett <klockett [at] fas__harvard__edu> writes

  >I would be very grateful for any information about metallic-coated
  >papers: papers with a metal finish such as gold leaf, silver, tin,
  >or bronze varnish.

  Pieske, Christa, Das ABC des Luxuspapiers: Herstellung,
  Verarbeitung and Gebrauch 1860 bis 1930. Dietrich Reimer Verlag,
  Berlin, 1983. This is the catalogue of an exhibition and it is in

  It is a great source of information on the dating and creation of
  ephemera, cards, valentines, pop ups, papier mache, etc.  you name
  it, its in there and then some.  on page 298 they discuss
  Metallpapier (briefly) They give an 1898 source: paper is painted
  out with  a ground which is different according to the
  needs/requirements of the metal used.  Then the metal is applied
  in foils and smoothed.  In the later part of the 19th century this
  method was replaced by "galvanizing" (electrolytic reduction),
  i.e. Cu or NI onto paper covered with glue. also used metal
  powders or metal paint; sometimes also varnished. NB: kb thinks
  that all of this is just a continuation of the craft as practised
  with the "Buntpapier" in Augsburg and other places from early
  on--they used glue--similar to flocking paper.

  CH Museum has some papers of this kind in its collection of
  papers.  In terms of treatment I have never seen anything on it,
  but, you have to be very careful with water (ie use of glue, or
  other water-soluble adhesives); pressed patterns, very thin metal
  layers, etc.  If there is  varnish you have to be careful with
  water, alcohol, acetone especially.

  But possibly humidity chamber and gentle pressure should do the
  trick; one could probably also line, on table and not with
  tension, using a very thin paper--I have mended them, no problem,
  use fibers and paste.  This avoids edges and is fairly dry.

  Look for information in industrial literature on commercial
  papermaking which is abundant in the 19th century.

  For" Buntpapier", at least the history of it, the basic reference
  is Albert von Haemmerle (with Olga Hirsch), Buntpapier, Callwey,
  Muenchen, 1961. (This book is out of print, but it has been

  Where Haemmerle ends, the Dutch continue, there was a big
  exhibition with beautiful catalogue (in Dutch)  called Sierpapier,
  by J.P. Heijbroek and T.C. Greven. ISBN 90.70386.66.6

  Another basic (English) reference is an article by Mirjam M. Foot,
  London, The British Library Journal 7 #1 (Spring 1981) ""The Olga
  Hirsch Collection of Decorated Paper in the British Library."

  The interns should also check the Restauro back issues, there may
  be something there.

  Metken, Geschnittenes Papier.

Also she called me and mentioned another source:  Emil Ploss, Das
buch von Alten Fareen--The book of color.  She used this book when
she was researching tracing paper, oiled papers.

Katharine Lockett
Kress Intern in Paper Conservation
Straus Center for Conservation
Harvard University Art Museums
32 Quincy St.
Cambridge,MA 02138
email:klockett [at] fas__harvard__edu
Fax: 617-495-0322

                  Conservation DistList Instance 12:57
                 Distributed: Tuesday, January 12, 1999
                       Message Id: cdl-12-57-005
Received on Thursday, 7 January, 1999

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