[KOOPS (Matthias)]

Historical account of the substances which have been used to describe events and to convey ideas, from the earliest date, to the invention of paper. Printed on the first useful paper manufactured sole[l]y from straw.

Londres, T. Burton, 1800.

In-8 (275 x 165 mm), long-grained navy-blue morocco, mute spine decorated with gilt fillets, gilt triple fillet, gilt edges, gilt inside, pink paper endpapers; some light rubbing to binding (Period binding).

Rare first edition of this history of paper by British papermaker Matthias Koops, a pioneer in the manufacture of recycled paper and straw paper for printing. It bears his autograph signature and is decorated with the arms of King George III and a final vignette.

This first edition was the only one printed on “the first useful Paper which has ever been made from Straw”, in order to present this paper to the King and no doubt to potential investors.

Koops indicated to George III the perfectible nature of his paper, which was a first attempt: “this paper is not yet in such a state of perfection as it will hereafter be [...]”.
The king had granted Koops patents enabling him to recycle paper already printed, and to manufacture paper from straw, hay, thistles, hemp, linen and various types of wood and bark. This work fits in perfectly with the industrial search for alternatives to rag paper, the increasing use of which was causing shortages.

The last four leaves of the Appendix are printed on lighter paper than the rest of the volume. It is advertised as being made of wood only, but we suspect that straw was used.

A very fine copy bound in long-grain blue morocco.

Bigmore & Wyman I, p.399: "a very interesting work"

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