Hollingworth Papers

The title page for 'Hollingworth Papers' a book of samples issued by Hollingworth & Co. about a century ago.

Among the books of paper samples I’ve acquired, the volume of Hollingworth Papers has to be the most elegant. It’s a tall, slim hardback bound in pale blue cloth with some vellum-effect stuff at the spine. It has gilt titling, and the upper page-edges are gilded too. The paper within is appropriately excellent. Its title-page is shown above.

Before the title comes a page with a hand-illuminated Hollingworth coat of arms. There follows some letterpress printing, and a selection of illustrations highlighting how the company’s papers show off lithographs, collotypes and photogravures to fine effect. Each illustration is protected by a sheet of tissue-paper. In a folder within the back cover are a few examples of embossed images.

A sample volume, ca. 1920s, of paper made by Hollingworth & Co.

No date of publication is given. The ebay seller I bought it from claimed it dated from the 1920s. It can’t at any rate be earlier than that as there’s mention of over two centuries of paper-making at the company’s Turkey Mill premises, which were first used for that purpose in 1719. The same mill was the venue, a few decades later, for James Whatman’s invention of wove paper. with the Hollingworth family only becoming its proprietors near the end of the 18th century.