Image of Parchment is any animal skin (usually calf, sheep or goat) prepared in an alkali solution and dried under tension. Parchment was the primary writing support across the ancient world (besides papyrus), for books, scrolls and bindings. It has been in constant use for over two millennia. Paper offers an excellent surface for writing, drawing, painting and printing. It is usually made from a pulp of plant fibres or processed textiles. Invented in China during the Han dynasty (206 BC–220 AD), by the 8th century the new technology arrived in the Middle East. Although introduced to Europe in the mid-10th century, paper was not widely used until the advent of printing in the mid-15th century.

Paper & Parchment

Parchment is any animal skin (usually calf, sheep or goat) prepared in an alkali solution and dried under tension. Parchment was the primary writing support across the ancient world (besides papyrus), for books, scrolls and bindings. It has been in constant use for over two millennia.
Paper offers an excellent surface for writing, drawing, painting and printing. It is usually made from a pulp of plant fibres or processed textiles. Invented in China during the Han dynasty (206 BC–220 AD), by the 8th century the new technology arrived in the Middle East. Although introduced to Europe in the mid-10th century, paper was not widely used until the advent of printing in the mid-15th century.

Qur’an, copied by Ibn al-Bawwab
Abbasid Baghdad (Iraq)
1000-1001 (391 AH)
CBL Is 1431

Highlights

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  • Slideshow
  • Geisha seated on porch beside plum tree, Keisai Eisen, mid-1820s, Japan. CBL J 2010.

    Geisha seated on porch beside plum tree
    Keisai Eisen
    mid-1820s
    Japan
    CBL J 2010

    1 / 9

  • Gospel book, Hayrapet and Yokob (depir), paper, 1655, Isfahan (Iran). CBL Arm 578.

    Gospel book
    Hayrapet and Yokob (depir)
    1655
    Isfahan (Iran)
    CBL Arm 578

    2 / 9

  • Harklean Gospels, Isho’bar Romanos, 1177, Tella (modern Turkey). CBL Syc 703.

    Harklean Gospels
    Isho’bar Romanos
    1177
    Tella (modern Turkey)
    CBL Syc 703

    3 / 9

  • Life of the Buddha, mid-19th century, Burma. CBL Bu 1207.

    Life of the Buddha
    mid-19th century
    Burma
    CBL Bu 1207

    4 / 9

  • Mechanical paper making, Theatrum machinarum novum, paper, published by Paul Fürst, 1662, Cologne (Germany). CBL AZ845.

    Mechanical paper making
    Theatrum machinarum novum
    published by Paul Fürst
    1662
    Cologne (Germany)
    CBL AZ845

    5 / 9

  • Image of Qur’an, copied by Ibn al-Bawwab on paper, Abbasid Baghdad, Iraq, 1000-1001. CBL Is 1431.

    Qur’an, copied by Ibn al-Bawwab
    Abbasid Baghdad (Iraq)
    1000-1001 (391 AH)
    CBL Is 1431

    6 / 9

  • Qur’an, copied by Muhammad ibn al-Wahid, c. 1306-1310, Mamluk Cairo. CBL Is 1440.

    Qur’an
    copied by Muhammad ibn al-Wahid
    14th century
    Mamluk Cairo (Egypt)
    CBL Is 1440

    7 / 9

  • Qur’an, copied in gold on blue-dyed parchment, probably Tunisia, c. 900-1000. CBL Is 1405.

    Qur’an, copied in gold on blue-dyed parchment
    probably Tunisia
    10th century
    CBL Is 1405A

    8 / 9

  • One hundred lohans, early 19th century, China. CBL C 1147.

    One hundred lohans
    early 19th century
    China
    CBL C 1147

    9 / 9

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