Posted by Andrew (220.127.116.11) on August 28, 2011 at 05:54:28:
In Reply to: is mulberry paper naturally brown? posted by Darin on August 25, 2011 at 04:06:26:
"Is the mulberry paper used in 1800's Ukioyo-E prints natrually brown/beige?"
Hello, the paper would not naturally be brown. That would suggest that the print is very dirty or perhaps acidified from being backed with or stored with other papers.
Beige or off-white is normal. I have made my own mulberry paper starting from raw kozo fiber, if you look at the raw materials, the kozo is fairly light in color
Around the end of the Meiji period like 1900 - 1910 there are some ukiyoe (re)printed on low-quality paper which was inherently acidic, those ones have turned brown and brittle.
Washi papers have survived well compared to other types of paper made contemporaneously, that is partly because of the great strength of kozo fibers, and partly because the preparation process (using lye) made the paper alkaline and also removed impurities which would tend to damage the paper over time. Hanga-shi were high-quality papers.
"Can I rule-out anything with a white base from being a vintage print?"
The 19th - century papers were not oxidatively bleached and they generally didn't have a sizing.
So a brilliant-white paper is probably modern.
But on the other hand, a print which looks "old" is not necessarily original just on the basis of appearance.
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