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A Medioeval Notebook In Charta Bambagina

manufactus medioevo

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16 replies to this topic

#1 fpupulin

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 22:46

This year I spent part of my Christmas holidays in Germany, in the city of Mainz, where my wife is carrying out a research project at the Gutenberg University, which will last approximately nine months.

 

Mainz is a small and pretty city, located on one side of the Rhine river, with many interesting things to do and see. It is the city where Gutenberg, at the beginning of the fifteenth century, invented mobile printing, an invention that undoubtedly changed the history of culture and the world. The beautiful Gutenberg museum houses an extraordinary exhibition relating to the history of printing, but also, for fans like us, of the history of paper and other writing media, of the long medieval period dedicated to illuminated manuscripts, and of the early stages of printing with a beautiful collection of books known as incunabula. Among others, an original copy of the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, printed in Venice for the types of Aldo Manuzio in 1499 and considered by many to be the most beautiful incunabulum ever published, of which I have a beautiful (and rare) anastatic edition printed, like the original, on laid paper.
 
Next to the museum there is a shop, managed by the Gutenberg Foundation, which is a real paradise, with prints taken from Gutenberg's famous 42-line Bible, papers of all kinds, calligraphic nibs, brass stamps, leather-bound notebooks (made in Italy), and even packets with sheets and envelopes of charta bambagina handmade in Amalfi, a product impossible to find where I live, but very rare to find in Italy too.
 
In the city center, right in front of the bus stop that I took every day to go and return from home, there is a wonderful and traditional fine arts and stationery shop, well stocked, which responds to the name of Listmann. I spent so many hours there, that I only needed a cot on the first floor, in the card, notebooks, colored pencils and other tools for writing and drawing department, to be able to spend there also the night in peace ... Among other things, one well-stocked series of Italian leather notebooks, of the "Manufactus" brand, some of which produced in the beautiful Amalfi paper, the charta bambagina, which began to be produced in the Amalfi territory during the thirteenth century, after the inhabitants of the Maritime Republic had learned about it preparation and art by the Arabs.
 
So much was my insistence on handling, touching, turning in my hands and caressing day after day a Manufactus notebook in charta bambagina called "Medioevo", which my dear wife, halfway between stove and emotion, decided to buy it for me as a Christmas present.
 
The notebook is covered with a very soft dark brown leather, and inside it is made up of eight quinterni of five sheets (10 pages), each of which is sewn directly to the leather according to medieval use, for a total of 80 pages. The charta bambagina, which bears the watermark of L. Amatruda of Amalfi, is thick, very soft, vellutate to the touch, in a slightly ivory white color: a real joy for the senses. Each sheet of the interior is produced individually by hand, so that it has all four sides intact. It is an expensive product, but with a very high quality.
 
The paper holds the ink, indeed the inks (I have tried four), very well and obviously, due to its heavy weight characteristics, it does not present any see-through on the other side of the sheet. Drying is always quick, less than with Edelstein's Smoky Quartz ink. I tried to make a light pencil sketch, but I found that the paper can not be erased because the surface flakes under the rubber, even if soft. The gift was delivered to me in Italy, where we spent Christmas with my wife with the Italian family: parents, brothers, daughters and grandchildren.
 
So here it is, the notebook:
 
fpn_1579041649__manufactus_medioevo__0.j
 
fpn_1579041690__manufactus_medioevo_0.jp
 
fpn_1579041718__manufactus_medioevo_1.jp
 
fpn_1579041745__manufactus_medioevo_2.jp
 
fpn_1579041776__manufactus_medioevo_3.jp
 
fpn_1579041810__manufactus_medioevo_4.jp
 
fpn_1579041840__manufactus_medioevo_5.jp
 
fpn_1579041865__manufactus_medioevo_6.jp
 
fpn_1579041890__manufactus_medioevo_8.jp
 
 
Thanks for reading.


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#2 da vinci

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 23:31

Superb post as ever. Thank you for sharing this interesting story, and pictures of your wonderful notebook :)



#3 Uncial

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 23:42

It is very beautiful paper and as you say, not easily found

#4 sebastel23

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Posted 15 January 2020 - 06:43

looks like i need to see mainz soon ...

 

thanks for this lovely post.


Edited by sebastel23, 15 January 2020 - 06:43.


#5 txomsy

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Posted 15 January 2020 - 16:51

Nice find, my most sincere congratulations.



#6 Tasmith

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Posted 15 January 2020 - 16:54

Beautiful!  Thank you for sharing!



#7 inkstainedruth

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Posted 15 January 2020 - 17:16

Totally jealous of your trip.  

The journal is lovely, but I suspect quite pricy.  And much too small a capacity for me.  But good to know that the paper seems to be fountain pen friendly. 

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#8 gary

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 19:15

My problem with the notebook is that neither my handwriting nor my drawings could ever measure up to its quality.

 

Yours on the other hand...


Edited by gary, 16 January 2020 - 19:15.


#9 jmccarty3

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Posted 19 January 2020 - 16:09

Thank you for this beautiful post!


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#10 Parkette

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Posted 19 January 2020 - 16:47

Lovely post, thanks. The style reminds me of the notebook of Henry Jones Senior, so perfect.

 

I would be concerned that whatever I was to write or draw would not meet the required standard, I would be spoiling the notebook!

 

There is an organisation that distributes leather journals that have been made by women in countries where they cannot work conventionally, the notebooks are a community project. They have a certain style but I dont know if the paper is FP friendly

 

https://www.paperhig...r-journals.html


Mennonite

#11 BlueJ

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Posted 19 January 2020 - 16:50

The pens shown are wonderful too...TWO Arco celluloids!



#12 sansenri

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Posted 19 January 2020 - 22:55

amazing as usual, Franco!



#13 txomsy

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Posted 20 January 2020 - 06:16

There is an organisation that distributes leather journals that have been made by women in countries where they cannot work conventionally, the notebooks are a community project. They have a certain style but I dont know if the paper is FP friendly

 

https://www.paperhig...r-journals.html

 

 

 

It seems they use Khadda paper, made of recycle cotton. Maybe some member from India can shed more light on it's FP friendliness.

 

Edited: sorry, the quoted text wasn't rendered as such. My apologies.


Edited by txomsy, 20 January 2020 - 07:53.


#14 5Cavaliers

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Posted 20 January 2020 - 06:35

 

There is an organisation that distributes leather journals that have been made by women in countries where they cannot work conventionally, the notebooks are a community project. They have a certain style but I dont know if the paper is FP friendly

 

https://www.paperhig...r-journals.html

 

It seems they use Khadda paper, made of recycle cotton. Maybe some member from India can shed more light on it's FP friendliness.

 

 

 

I don't know anything about the Khadda paper.  But when I looked at the Sari Journals - which are really lovely - the paper is made from recycled materials and not recommended for fountain pen use. 

 

I then found this thread here on FPN:  http://www.fountainp...6-khadda-paper/

 

It sounds like this too isn't very suitable for fountain pens.  


"Today will be gone in less than 24 hours.  When it is gone, it is gone.  Be wise, but enjoy!  - anonymous today

 

 

 


#15 Parkette

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Posted 20 January 2020 - 13:17

 

 

I don't know anything about the Khadda paper.  But when I looked at the Sari Journals - which are really lovely - the paper is made from recycled materials and not recommended for fountain pen use. 

 

I then found this thread here on FPN:  http://www.fountainp...6-khadda-paper/

 

It sounds like this too isn't very suitable for fountain pens.  

 

 

This a great shame, its a good cause and the notebook cover looks suitable for purpose.

 

I have used paper that has been made from cotton rag waste and it was extremely thick, around 200gsm. The paper was lumpy too! Not impossible for FP use but it would be so tempting to strip out the rag paper and replace it with something, anything better.


Mennonite

#16 txomsy

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Posted 20 January 2020 - 21:05

Well, I have used rag paper from banana made in the EARTH University of Costa Rica that was both, thick, rough and, surprisingly, FP friendly. So, being recycled, coarse grain, vegetable and rough is not necessarily a problem.

 

Still, getting Charta Bombagina, is likely -I guess- alike in the sense you are also helping artisans keep alive an old tradition and earn a decent living, only this time it is in Italy.



#17 PAKMAN

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Posted 20 January 2020 - 21:11

Mainz is wonderful! We were there back last May. Thanks for the pictures of your Notebook!


PAKMAN
 

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