Lada-Mocarski Decorated Paper Collection

This is draft text for a finding aid for the Valerian and Laura Lada-Mocarski Antique Decorated Paper Collection, created by re-keying the paper documents provided by Laura Lada-Mocarski.

Summary Information

Repository: Folger Shakespeare Library

Title: Valerian and Laura Lada-Mocarski Antique Decorated Paper Collection

Call number: ART 235146 (boxed)

Date: 17th-19th centuries

General Physical Description: 641 sheets of paper

The Beginning of the Collection and How it Grew

By Laura Lada-Mocarski

This extraordinary collection was bought from a book and paper restorer, a man named Amori, "con multi bambini," living on top of a hill overlooking Lake Como in Italy. !in 1945, just after the armistice of World War II, my husband and I had been spending a year in Lugano, Switzerland where he was working for OSS. He was an avid book collector and as soon as the armistice was declared, literally the next day, we made a dash, by car, for Milano and the book dealers. Some of the books my husband had bought needed repair and the dealer had sent them to his restorer, Mr. Amori. Lake Como was on our way back to Lugano, so we stopped to pick up the books from Amori on top of his hill. During our visit he offered us most of this fine collection of decorated papers which he and his family, including the bambini, had put together, skillfully restoring the sheets if necessary. I was most anxious to acquire this collection to use in my work, which was restoring and repairing some of my husband's books. You can imagine our joy when the collection became ours!.

In 1945, we had never seen such a large collection coming on the market. One came upon single sheets or several sheets in a paper or book shop but never more than a few sheets at a time. This find was indeed a gold mine. The papers have served the collection well and many a book in my husband's collection has authentic end sheets of its period. Many a unique pamphlet whose binding or wrapping had been lost regained its original and authentic appearance.

Over the years, little by little, the collection has grown in the size and interesting items to some 642 sheets. It includes some rare items such as full sheets of hand laid gold leaf; some very rare full, tinted sheets stamped in gold leaf with wood blocks of pastoral, military or daily scenes; tinted sheets printed with wood blocks in gold, with the name of the paper maker appearing on the deckle edge and in one instance on the deckle and the side edge - both very rare; some very late 18th and early 19th century Varese wood block papers and various unique paste papers. These additions to the collection my husband bought one by one over the years as he found them in rare book shops. They have greatly enhanced the original collection both in value and certainly in interest. These sheets are attractive enough for framing.

Now my husband's collection of books is safely housed at Yale University. I am no longer continuing to restore and rebind his books. Therefore, I would like to sell this entire collection of hand-decorated, hand-printed, stamped, marbled and paste papers.

Collection Inventory

Embossed paper, German, 18th century    4 sheets ; 3 3/4 x 6 1/8" - 7 1/16 x 10   Condition: Minor faults, very good overall.
Floral patterns embossed in orange, white, green or purple on gold grounds, each sheet lined and serving as a cover for an Italian religious or poetical pamphlet printed in 1720, 1767, 1780, and 1781 respectively.
Box-folder 1.1
Marbled paper, Old Dutch, 18th and 19th century   26 sheets ; 5 3/4 x 6 3/16" - 8 1/2 x 10 5/8".  Condition:Some short tears and few frayed edges, otherwise in very good condition.
Antique Spot, Curl, Agate, Drag with Antique Spot, Shell, Stormont, Nonpareil patterns, contemporary color tones of pastel blue, green, buff, red, rose, tan, yellow, gray, dark blue.
Box-folder 1.2
Gold-stamped or embossed paper, Italian and German, 17th, 18th, 19th century,   6 sheets ; 4 1/2 x 7 5/8" - 8 3/8 x 12".  Condition: Light rubbing, damp stains on two sheets, very good overall condition.
4 sheets are portions of pamphlet covers; 2 sheets form a complete cover with repeat abstract pattern gold-stamped on white ground; 1 sheet with floral pattern in white embossed on gold ground; 1 sheet with another floral pattern in white embossed on a gold ground; 1 sheet with floral pattern in white, orange, purple, light green, and magenta embossed on a gold ground and signed Augsburg (very rare); 1 sheet with floral pattern embossed in purple on a gold ground, sheets are lined.
Box-folder 1.3
Embossed moire paper, late 19th century   20 sheets ; 7 3/4 x 9 3/4" - 11 13/16 x 16 15/16".  Condition: Most sheets with single fold, edge creases or fraying, a few shot tears at folds, overall in very good condition.
17 sheets in the same pattern on pink, white, light green, yellow, dark purple, dark red, light purple, light blue grounds; 2 sheets in another pattern on black ground; 1 sheet in another pattern on light blue ground.
Box-folder 1.4
Patterned paper examples of various techniques, 18th and 19th century    9 sheets. ; 6 1/4 x 10 3/4" - 9 1/2 x 14 13/16" Condition: Overall very good condition.
1 marbled (Old Dutch on recto, Old Dutch with Curl on verso) dark rose - light blue, orange, cream; 1 with printed pattern with several binder's rolls printed in black ink on white ground; 1 with a printed pattern in black on white ground of two binder's tools plus a roll; 2 paste papers: 1 gray with repeat pattern using 3 tools, and 1 rust and black with woodcut pattern late 19th century with embossed floral pattern in faded mauve on gold leaf ground; 1 gold tooled with repeat pattern using 2 tools (6 pointed star and small circle) on white ground; 1 paste paper brown on leaf from 18th century Spanish account book.
Box-folder 1.5
Printed paper, 19th and early 20th century,    5 sheets ; 7 3/4 x 10 3/4" - 10 x 14 7/8"  Condition: Overall very good.
Various repeat abstract patterns employing woodblocks, contemporary color tones of green, blue, tan, yellow, red, black.
Box-folder 1.6
Gold-stamped, embossed and marbled paper, . 17th and 18th century    9 sheets ; 7 1/4 x 11 1/8" - 24 1/8 x 21 1/2".  Condition: Very good overall.
Covers removed from pamphlets, all lined and folded:
2 marbled sheets with Curl pattern, contemporary color tones of pastel gray-blue, rose, gray, cream, and black, versos with ex libris Biblioteca Raffaele Casimiri, light rubbing, light waterstain on 1 sheet, the other with damp and mold stain on 3 edges
3 sheets gold-stamped on white or orange grounds
4 sheets embossed in green or white or magenta on gold grounds, some rubbing, chipping
Box-folder 1.7
Paste paper, Italian, 18th and 19th century    5 sheets. ; 7 3/8 x 12 1/4" - 12 x 14 11/16". Condition: Light waterstains; overall very good.
Wood grains simulating tree-calf, contemporary color tones of brown and tan, 1 sheet with verso with portion of religious woodcut.
Box-folder 1.8
Paste paper and printed, Italian, 18th and 19th century    21 sheets. ; 6 1/4 x 7 3/4" - 11 1/4 x 16 1/32". Condition: Minor faults, very good overall.
  1. 20 sheets with spattered patterns, contemporary color tones of pink, brown, gray, yellow, dark blue, blue, gold grounds with pink, black, white, orange, green, red spatters,
  2. 1 sheet with printed red and green simulated spatters on white ground,
Box-folder 1.9
Marbled paper, mostly 18th century, a few 19th century.    31 sheets ; 6 5/8 x 10" - 11 5/8 x 16".  Condition: Some frayed edges, some edge creases, a few short tears, 1 sheet with 3" tear, overall in very good condition.
Agate, Antique Spot, Scrotel, Nonpareil, Antique Spot with drag, Old Dutch, Shell, contemporary color tones of blue, green buff, red, rose, tan, yellow, gray, dark blue.
Box-folder 1.1
Marbled or patterned paper, 18th and 19th century.    7 sheets ; 4 7/8 x 7 3/4" - 12 x 17"  Condition: A few short tears; else overall very good.
  1. Marbled sheets in Agate and Curl patterns
  2. Printed sheets with flower and vine pattern over color striped ground
  3. Marbled sheets in contemporary color tones of tan, brown, magenta, dark blue, dark red
Box-folder 1.11
Paste paper, Italian, 18th century   6 sheets ; 8 5/8 x 12 3/8" - 11 1/2 x 17" Condition: Largest sheet with some light surface wear, overall in very good condition.
  1. 5 in combed or finger technique
  2. 1 floral in woodblock technique, 18th century color tones of rose and cream, dark blue and cream, gray-yellow-pale rose
Box-folder 1.12
Marbled paper, 17th century    3 sheets ; 7 1/4 x 10 1/8" - 9 9/16 x 13 5/8"  Condition: 1 sheet with several short strips cut from long edges, and 3/4" square cutout hole; otherwise in very good condition.
In pattern and color similar to Old Dutch and Nonpareil, contemporary color tones of pastel blue, green, red, pink, buff, yellow.
Box-folder 2.1
Paste paper, 19th century    4 sheets ; 8 7/8 x 11 5/8" - 10 5/8 x 13 1/2"  Condition: Overall very good.
Paste paper in brown, dark blue, pink color tones, calendered, embossed paper 1 pink with floral pattern, 1 white with ribbon pattern and with portion missing from corner,
Box-folder 2.2
Embossed paper, late 19th century    9 sheets ; 12 1/6 x 16 15/16" - 12 5/8 x 17".  Condition: Overall very good.
In floral patterns, 7 sheets with the same pattern and with rubbing of edges and surfaces along the joins of the gold leaf exposing underlying color of terra-cotta, 1 sheet with another pattern, rubbed as above and elsewhere on the surface exposing underlying colors of olive-green and terra-cotta, this sheet with edges rubbed, 3" water stain along tail edge, 1 sheet with another pattern.
Box-folder 2.3
Marbled paper, 19th century    19 sheets ; 5 x 8" - 12 5/8 x 17 3/8"  Condition: Very good.
In Zebra, Sunspot, Sun Marble, Schell, Schotel and similar patterns, 19th century color tones of maroon, brown, tan, yellow, gray, blue, pink, red, calendered.
Box-folder 2.4
Marbled paper, 19th century.    5 sheets ; 8 x 11" - 10 11/16 x 17".  Condition: Very good.
In the pattern known as Italian, contemporary color tones of black, gray, red, blue, yellow, pink, calendered.
Box-folder 2.5
Gold stamped paper, 18th and 19th century    10 sheets ; 7 1/2 x 10 7/8" - 14 3/16 x 16 13/16".  Condition: Overall very good.
In floral, historiated, and abstract patterns on unpainted or painted grounds of orange, rose, purple, mustard, light blue, multi-colored, 3 largest sheets, uncut, are full size and German made, 1 signed (very rare), 2 sheets uncut with name of papermaker, 1 sheet uncut without name of papermaker, partial sheets with minor faults.
Box-folder 2.6
Swiss paper, mid-19th century.    1 full sheet ; 14 5/16" x 17 1/4".  Condition: 1" tear in one edge into design border, a few chips; very good overall.
4 panel historiated pattern lithographically printed in colors on white ground (the panels illustrate children's tales)
Box-folder 2.7
Gold-stamped paper employing woodblocks, 17th and 18th century.    5 sheets ; 13 1/4 x 15 13/16" - 14 3/4 x 16 13/16".  Condition: 1 sheet with a short tear; very good overall condition; very rare.
In historiated and animal patterns, on paste paper or printed color grounds of dark green, blue, rose, purple-gray, full sheets, by German makers, 2 sheets signed.
Box-folder 2.8
Embossed paper, 18th and early 19th century    18 sheets ; 6 1/2 x 8 1/4" - 14 5/8 x 16 15/16".  Condition: 1 sheet with 1 1/2" tear in edge and 1 1/2 x 1 1/2" corner missing, a few sheets with minor faults, overall in very good condition.
In floral and abstract patterns on gold grounds: 1 sheet on silver ground (very rare and the only example in the Lada-Mocarski collection), 2 gold ground sheets without embossing or stamping, 4 sheets double-sided, 8 are full sheets, 3 by German makers.
Box-folder 2.9
Marbled paper, 19th century    14 sheets ; 6 1/2 x 7 9/16" - 12 15/16 x 17 7/8".  Condition: Some skillful repairs, 1 sheet with 3" tear and crease at fold, 1 sheet with small piece missing at fold; very good overall condition.
In Agate, Scrotel, Antique Spot and Shell patterns, contemporary color tones of dark green, dark blue, orange, brown, gray, red, calendered.
Box-folder 2.1
Marbled paper in the pattern called Plain Spanish, 19th century    19 sheets. ; 5 1/8 x 7 11/16" - 13 x 19 15/16". Condition: Very good.
19th century color tones of light green, dark yellow, maroon, pink, coral, dark blue, blue, light blue, gray, brown, black, tan, red, calendered.
Box-folder 2.11
Marbled paper, 19th century    81 sheets ; 6 1/8 x 8 5/8" - 12 7/8 x 20 3/4".  Condition: Very good overall.
In Shell pattern, 19th century color tones of rose, green, white, dark green, black, brown, blue, blue-gray, orange, yellow, rust, gray, red, some sheets calendered.
Box-folder 2.12
Paste paper, Italian, 18th and 19th century    26 sheets ; 4 11/32 x 7 1/8" - 14 3/4 x 21 3/4".  Condition: Purple sheets with watermarks and tears at folds, small pieces missing, other sheets overall in very good condition.
Contemporary color tones of dark green, purple, gray, rose, coral, yellow, brown, blue, tan, some sheets calendered.
Box-folder 2.13
Patterned paper, Italian, probably of Varese manufacture 18th century    1 full sheet ; 10 1/2 x 19".  Condition: Tail edge with 2 short tears; otherwise in very good condition.
Woodcut floral and fruit pattern in rose, dark gray-blue, olive-green on cream ground. Very rare.
Box-folder 2.14
Marbled paper, 18th and 19th century    2 sheets ; 14 x 19 1/4" - 15 5/8 x 22 1/6".  Condition: Some edges partly frayed or with short crease, overall in very good condition.
In Antique Spot and Curl with drag patterns, contemporary color tones of pastel pink, gray-blue, cream, black, maroon, dark olive-green, 1 sheet calendered.
Box-folder 2.15
Marbled paper, Spanish pattern 17th and 18th century    5 sheets. ; 5 3/4 x 8 1/4" - 14 1/4 x 19". Condition: Very good.
Contemporary color tones of pastel gray, brown, yellow, olive-green, black, rust, pink.
Box-folder 3.1
Paste paper, with leaf and dots pattern, late 19th century    34 sheets. ; 15 5/16" x 18 1/4". Condition: A few sheets with creases on one or two edges, 1 sheet with short tear at fold, 1 sheet chipped on tail edge, overall in very good condition.
Printed with woodblock, 13 in green on blue and light blue grounds, 21 in yellow on blue and light blue grounds, all sheets with single fold.
Box-folder 3.2
Printed paper, mid-19th to early 20th century    12 sheets. ; 8 1/4 x 10 1/2" - 15 1/4 x 18 3/16". Condition: Some sheets folded with single fold; very good overall condition.
1 sheet in floral pattern in black, orange, green on white ground, 11 sheets with repeat abstract patterns printed in brown, black, white, orange, yellow, maroon, tan, on mustard, light green, dark green, tan, blue, orange grounds.
Box-folder 3.3
Toile de Jouey    1 full sheet ; 14 1/4 x 18 1/8" Condition: Lightly creased with centerfold; overall in very good condition.
Repeat pattern of a shepherd, pig, shepherdess, stag, dog, bird, cow, tree, shrub, grass, woodblock printed in black on white ground, and hand colored with stencil in olive-green, mustard, and rose.
Box-folder 3.4
Patterned paper, manufactured at Varese, Italy, 18th and 19th century    54 sheets. ; 4 15/16 x 6 1/8" - 15 1/8 x 17 7/8" Condition: Some chipping/fraying; overall in very good condition.
Employing woodblocks and stencils to produce abstract and floral patterns; contemporary color tones of pastel pink, rose, red, green, yellow, gray, blue, tan, olive-green, carmine; 3 largest sheets are full size; complete, and very rare.
Box-folder 3.5
Marbled and printed paper, 19th century    2 sheets. ; 12 5/8 x 17 13/16" - 15 1/8 x 18 1/4". Condition: Woodblock sheet with edge creases head and tail edges; overall in very good condition.
1 marbled in drag pattern, tan and gray; 1 woodblock printed with repeat abstract floral pattern, brown on yellow ground, both calendered.
Box-folder 3.6
paste paper, Italian, 18th century    10 sheets. ; 7 11/16 x 9 5/8" - 13 1/2 x 19 3/8". Condition: Very good.
Various sponge patterns, contemporary color tones of pink, olive-green, gray, tan, green, yellow, orange, red, blue, rose, light yellow.
Box-folder 3.7
Marbled paper in Nonpareil, Snail or Curl 17th, 18th and early 19th century    65 sheets. ; 5 3/16 x 8 3/16" - 16 x 20 1/8". Condition: A few edges frayed, chipped or with short tears; overall in very good condition.
Similar drawn, swirled and combed patterns, contemporary color tones of pastel red, blue, green, yellow, buff, pink, gray, rust, some sheets calendered.
Box-folder 3.8
Endsheet paper without patterns, 17th, 18th and 19th century    37 sheets. ; 5 3/4 x 8 15/16" - 18 3/16 x 23" Condition: Some fraying, chipping, short tears, many sheets folded with single fold, overall in very good condition.
In orange, light yellow, magenta, terra-cotta, red, rose, brown, light purple, pink cream, some paste paper sheets, most coated and calendered.
Box-folder 3.9
Marbled paper in Agate, Old Dutch, Nonpareil, Nonpareil with Curl, Nonpareil with Drag, Curl patterns, 18th and 19th century    15 sheets. ; 7 11/16 x 9 7/16" - 13 5/8 x 19 3/4". Condition: Very good.
Contemporary color tones of rust, maroon, dark burgundy, yellow, black, cream, blue, light blue, pink, some sheets calendered.
Box-folder 3.1
Marbled paper, Turkish, late 19th century    3 sheets. ; 10 5/8 x 13 1/4" - 13 3/8 x 19 1/4". Condition: A few frayed or creased edges, very good condition.
Contemporary color tones of light brown and white with repeat pattern of red tulip, rust ground with repeat olive-green and black abstract flower, pink and white ground with repeat gray and black mushroom cap pattern.
Box-folder 3.11
Marbled paper, in Agate, Antique Spot, Antique Spot with drag, Shell, Curl, Drag patterns, mostly 18th century, a few 19th century    37 sheets ; 8 3/8 x 10 5/16" - 14 3/4 x 19 5/8"  Condition: A few tattered or frayed edges, some edge creases, 1 sheet with two 3X7" pieces cut away; otherwise in very good overall condition.
Contemporary color tones of pastel rose, light blue, yellow, buff, green, gray, dark blue, pink, gray-blue, black, brown.
Box-folder 3.12