Rutland & Tokyo, 1952. 4 volumes plus envelope. 13 1/4 x 10/ 3/4. Japanese-style bindings of hand-stenciled wraps & boards. Volumes contained in a Shufi-covered folding case. A fine set. Signed by the publisher, Tuttle. Item #16881
One of the finest and most important studies on Japanese paper, and a magnificent production. Text in English. Replete with specimens, including old and rare documented papers from the 8th and 9th centuries.
Volume I gives the history and description of Japanese papermaking, with numerous photos of processes and a fold-out plate of mounted fibers. There is an exquisitely hand colored facsimile of the ancient manuscript "Kamisuki Taigai" (process of papermaking) with English translation. It is accompanied by an envelope containing five different papermaking fibers.
The Seki Collection, Volume II, has 127 French-fold pages with 187 tipped-in specimens, 2 folding maps. These specimens span the Nara period (710-793) to the 1950s (with some extraordinary decorated papers). The source of the early papers (usually a manuscript or a printed book) is documented. Size of the original sheet is given.
Volume III, the Contemporary Collection of 139 full page specimens with descriptions, from twenty districts. xxvi, 136 specimens (10 x 13) including decorated and imbedded.
Volume IV is the watermarks collection, with 20 elaborate pictorial light-and-shade watermarks, made by a hand rubbing process unknown in the West. Five text pages describe the broadsides. Schlosser (No. 63) says 250 copies were planned; but only about 150 were completed. Tindale gave or sold many (perhaps most) to institutions. See Henry Morris' Japonica for a 12 page description of this major work.