[INDOLOGY] Watermarks on Manuscript Paper

Dominik Wujastyk wujastyk at gmail.com
Mon Jan 29 02:15:55 UTC 2018

Dear Jonathan, the big divide is between hand-made paper and machine-made
paper.  Hand-made never has a water mark.  Machine-made quite often does.
Also, MM has chain- and laid-lines, regular parallel lines that you can see
quite easily if you hold the paper up to the light.  Also, MM paper rolls,
or folds, more easily in one direction than at right angles to that
direction (because of the difference between chain- and laid- grain); HM
paper bends the same in all directions.

There do exists indexes of watermarks, but I'm afraid I don't recall the
details now.  I kept track of watermarks when I was cataloguing the
Wellcome Library Sanskrit collection in ythe 80s.  If you get hold of my
"Handlists" and do a keyword search, you'll find them.  I didn't make an
index at the back of the book, though.  For example, in Handlist I (1985),
serial number 672 (p. 165) is watermarked "Brittania".
#683 is "Dorling & Co. London",
#698 is "Conqueror, London",
#774 is "Fine Foolscap Balmukand Ramji Das",


Professor Dominik Wujastyk <http://ualberta.academia.edu/DominikWujastyk>

Singhmar Chair in Classical Indian Society and Polity

Department of History and Classics <http://historyandclassics.ualberta.ca/>
University of Alberta, Canada

South Asia at the U of A:


On 17 January 2018 at 10:19, Jonathan Peterson via INDOLOGY <
indology at list.indology.info> wrote:

> Dear all;
> I’m curious about the use of watermarks on manuscript paper. I recently
> came across the same watermark across a few Sanskrit manuscripts. The mss
> seem to be fairly modern (perhaps early 19th century?), but they raised a
> few questions: 1) how pervasive were watermarks for paper manufacturers in
> South Asia? 2) about when do we start seeing them? 3) I presume them to be
> proprietary to particular paper makers. If they are, are there any
> collections or indexes of various marks for establishing the provenance of
> a particular ms?
> Many thanks,
> Jonathan Peterson
> University of Toronto
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