Sunday, December 08, 2013

Oak, edges and commerce




































Strength.

What is a deckle edge? The term is new to me. But I quickly learn to  today that it is the uncut or feathered edge of a page in a book. Such page edges used to be unavoidable. But now when dealing with old books they have become something of a status symbol.

The language of coffee and commerce explodes off a poster  showing a kind of sandwich in the Costa cafe in the hospital. "Unwrap a tasty tummy filler," it  commands.





3 comments:

marja-leena said...

A deckle edge is a familiar term for printmakers like me. Many fine art papers will have two deckle edges on a sheet and when possible we like to be able to leave them untrimmed - which means sizing one's image accordingly.

Old books with deckle edged papers are rare and wonderful.

Joe Hyam said...

Thanks M-L. I have had a few books with deckle edges for most of my life. The term was new to me though. When I was younger I rather resented the rough page edges as I did books with uncut pages. Nowadays I know better. I value both because they are unusual and recall the origins of books, binding and printing. Deckle edges don't appear on eReaders.

Lucy said...

I was made aware of the curious word 'deckle' at a young age. My dad worked in the paper trade as a young man, and later as a haulier had much to do with the firm John Dickinson who were based in the same town. We sometimes had freebies from them as a result, including some very thick, luxuriously packed paper and envelopes called 'Churston Deckle', which came in shade of pink and lilac and had a very pronounced deckle edge, probably artificial for effect. My mother had a strong dislike of the stuff, seeing it as vulgar and pretentious, and too heavy for serious correspondence; its only saving grace being that it wasn't scented! So we just used it for messing about with as kids, for drawing and making things.

My father also slightly annoyed my mother once by describing some rather stodgy though perfectly nice fruit cake as 'tummy filler'.

So you have provoked couple of rather obscure memories here!