Paper and Watermarks

Ms KH78, p. 195

Copied on European laid paper, this manuscript illustrates the use of watermarks in the late 19th century. It contains a design of Britannia which reads ‘Guaranteed British Made’.

The paper types used in the Khojkiinfo-icon volumes are either of local Indian decent (desi) or imported from Western Europe. The paper, including both laid and woven types, is usually white in colour; European paper carried additional characteristic watermarks produced in the latter half of the 19th century. The desi paper, more common in older manuscripts, was usually made of cotton on stretched out moulds, and typically folded along the grain. It was customary to leave the paper untrimmed before it was bound between covers, causing the paper to form a chevron (an inverted ‘V’ shape) once the manuscripts were bound. While most manuscripts were written on a single type of paper, it is not rare to find a combination of varieties.

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