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A new book

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  • Jake Benson
    Greetings everyone, I wanted to let all of you know that at new book has been issued that contains some very interesting infomration and images relative to
    Message 1 of 4 , Aug 24 7:37 AM
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      Greetings everyone,

      I wanted to let all of you know that at new book has been issued that
      contains some very interesting infomration and images relative to
      marbling in American history. I was just dropped by borders book in
      Midtown manhattan and spotted one of the famous Ben Franklin marbled
      loans on a dust jacket. After quickly reading it, I think it sheds a
      great deal of light on this subject and is a definite "must -read" for
      anyone interested in this topic.

      Here's the citation:

      Goetzmann, Willian N. and Rouwenhorst, Geert. The Origins of Value:
      The Financial Innovations that created Modern Capital Markets. Oxford
      and New York : Oxford University Press. 2005 ISBN #- 10019-517571-

      Here's a direct link to the listing at Amazon- it was MUCH cheaper than
      Borders!

      http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0195175719/102-4833283
      -7984158?v=glance

      The authors in turn derive their information from The Papers of
      Benjamin Franklin. New Haven: Yale University Press. vol 30, page 345.
      I haven't checked this out for myself just yet but will do so shortly.

      The book goes into detail about how Franklin designed the loans himself
      in 1780 while staying in Passy, a suburb of Paris during his term as
      ambassador. He designed the loans presented to the French government,
      even developing a special typeface for the printing. Apparently came
      up with the novel idea of adhering a strip of marbled paper down the
      middle of a loan agreement. This agreement would be written on two
      halves and cut part in an odd, irregular angle down the middle. The
      irregular cutting of the document in half is the same manner in which
      indentures and other legal documents were created. The validity of
      the document would be proven by matching the two halves. The presence
      of marbled paper in the cut added another level of security to the
      transaction. They reproduce two such documents and they are done to
      full scale and therefore very nice to look at!

      Unfortunately for some of my fellow American marblers, there has been a
      tendency to associate early marbled paper production in the America
      with Benjamin Franklin. Many had written that marbled bank notes,
      some of which were printed by Franklin's grandson Benjamin Bache, were
      printed on marbled paper made by Franklin, or under his patronage. The
      authors of this new book shed some light on this, as Franklin
      apparently mentions how he obtained the paper in his memoirs.
      Apparently, the papers were all purchased at the stationer's shop of
      James Woodmason in London and then smuggled into France!! The authors
      then marvel at the irony of the fact that these loans to help finance
      the American revolution were executed upon papers smuggled from
      England.

      However, while the paper may not be of American manufacture, I'm very
      willing to place my bets that the INDIGO used to marble the paper was
      imported from the colonies, and in this respect, South Carolina was
      definitely a leading manufacturer at that time..... Oddly enough the
      book makes no mention of the early continental notes that feature
      marbling, such as those printed by Benjamin Bache. So I wonder if the
      notes and loans were closely scrutinized and compared, if they might
      actually match. the example with just a border may well still be a
      sign of domestic American production, yet who knows?

      Enjoy!

      Jake




      Benson's Hand Bindery
      Fine Custom Bookbinding, Conservation, & Hand Marbled Papers
      Jake Benson, Proprietor
      1027 Brookwood Circle
      West Columbia, SC 29169
      (803) 926-5544
      handbindery@...

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • jthandbook
      Thank you Jake for the heads up; I doubt I d have noticed THE ORIGINS OF VALUE otherwise. A pretty fascinating book aside from the marbling interest. Have you
      Message 2 of 4 , Sep 8, 2005
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        Thank you Jake for the heads up; I doubt I'd have noticed THE ORIGINS OF VALUE otherwise.
        A pretty fascinating book aside from the marbling interest.
        Have you gotten a chance to check the authors' reference to Franklin's PAPERS? The
        arguments they put forward for the English origin of the wove paper and resist marbling
        strike me as a bit overstretched. I've not examined one of the Loan notes in person but from
        reproductions I don't see anything about them to support the claim of exceptionally high
        quality, rarity, or expense.
        It would be most curious if Franklin, having (according to Dard Hunter) introduced Paris to
        wove paper in 1777, had to smuggle it into France a few years later! And why would Franklin
        not have seen to its making and marbling in France and then later, for his experimental
        American money bills, Stateside? I'm hoping that you can set me straight on this.
        Now if only there were some way to get your talk for those of us unable to attend. Again my
        thanks and all best to you, James
      • Jake Benson
        Hi Jim, It turns out that we don t have Vol. 30 of the Papers of Benjamin Franklin here at USC. Hence I have to order it through ILL. Yet I think you are
        Message 3 of 4 , Sep 10, 2005
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          Hi Jim,

          It turns out that we don't have Vol. 30 of the Papers of Benjamin Franklin here at USC.
          Hence I have to order it through ILL. Yet I think you are asking a lot of very good
          questions.
          or if it was simply that "paper" , meaning the wove paper was smuggled, before it was
          marbled. the papers will hopefully have an answer to that if they are explicit or not. I
          think the paper may have been smuggled and then specially marbled in Paris (perhaps a
          special comission by Franklin of the successor to the marbling firm featured in the
          Encyclopedie of Diderot & d'Alembert?) then printed at Passy by Franklin before they were
          presented to the governent.

          The marbling is not an adhered strip of paper but directly marbled to the center of a long
          rectangular sheet, and blocked off likely using another piece of paper on the right and left
          halves. So the marbling is integral to the sheet that the loan was printed on. Then it was
          cut in an irregular manner into two halves that could be proven to positively match. I
          wonder if marbling is French Marbling on English paper. this treatment s so unusual, I
          have ahrd time thinking it was done in London to order in that manner. Also the pattern
          on the loan seems more like the papers seen in France at that time.

          As to whether the marbling on the bill notes is native manufacture, who knows? It will
          take a lot of study and research. The marbling is used in a different manner, and variant
          patterns are observed that are distinct from the loans, something the authors of the book
          seem to have failed to observe.

          In the past we have tended to lump the production of the loans together with the bill
          notes, but now I wonder if the loans were very specifically conjured up by Franklin at
          Passy... which led to some of the bill notes produced in a similar manner stateside. One
          bill note featuring a chevron pattern was printed by Benjamin Bache, Franklin's grandson.
          Others are not so explicit, so he may not have printed them all, but it has seemed likely,
          given the circumstances. Aside from the papers and patterns used for the notes, another
          feature that could be looked into is Franklin's penchant for designing the type for these
          projects. Franklins use of small tree leaves in the printing process as a security device is
          also remarkable. One wonders if a note combining marbling together with the leaves weer
          ever produced.

          I have never inspected of the bill notes or the loans in person, only the images in Wolfe's
          book. Those bills and the loan are kept at

          http://www.amphilsoc.org/library/

          Has anyone on the list seen these items firsthand and care to add to the discussion?

          Another billnote is up for sale at Denly's in Boston, which I posted a few months back.

          http://www.denlys.com/inventory/viewimage.asp?ID=CNT612

          As is so often the case, this publication may bring up more questions than answers, but it
          is still really nice to see the attention paid to the subject at all, and VERY full-page color
          images published.

          Jake


          --- In Marbling@yahoogroups.com, "jthandbook" <jthandbook@y...> wrote:
          > Thank you Jake for the heads up; I doubt I'd have noticed THE ORIGINS OF VALUE
          otherwise.
          > A pretty fascinating book aside from the marbling interest.
          > Have you gotten a chance to check the authors' reference to Franklin's PAPERS? The
          > arguments they put forward for the English origin of the wove paper and resist marbling
          > strike me as a bit overstretched. I've not examined one of the Loan notes in person but
          from reproductions I don't see anything about them to support the claim of exceptionally
          high quality, rarity, or expense.
          > It would be most curious if Franklin, having (according to Dard Hunter) introduced Paris
          to wove paper in 1777, had to smuggle it into France a few years later! And why would
          Franklin not have seen to its making and marbling in France and then later, for his
          experimental American money bills, Stateside? I'm hoping that you can set me straight on
          this.

          > Now if only there were some way to get your talk for those of us unable to attend. Again
          my thanks and all best to you, James
        • jthandbook
          Hello all... as it turns out the marbled Loan Notes produced by Franklin at Passy and held by the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia are part of
          Message 4 of 4 , Sep 14, 2005
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            Hello all... as it turns out the marbled Loan Notes produced by Franklin at Passy and held by
            the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia are part of the touring exhibition being put
            together for Franklin's 300th anniversary next year. To see them in person, information and
            your closest venue can be found online at benfranklin300.org.
            I have also learned that the Johannot papermakers at Annonay France were producing wove
            paper no later that 1778 and that by 1781 their paper was awarded a gold medal by the King.
            It is known that Franklin used laid paper produced by Johannot at his press at Passy, why not
            the wove? It seems a forensic analysis of the paper has not been done but is needed to
            answer the question of its origin.
            Best, James
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