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History of Paper in Iran, 1501–1925

Published Date: May 1, 2023

In Stock


0ctober 4, 2022
6x9 inches

About the Book

The Chinese invented papermaking, which by the 8th century had reached the Muslim world in Samarkand and Baghdad, and Spain by the 11th century. Much later at the end of the 18th century onwards, modern, industrial papermaking was developed by the Europeans. The History of Paper in Iran, 1501 to 1925 sets out for the reader the types of paper made in Iran during the Safavid and Qajar periods and the crucial role imported paper played in the country.


The Iranian government attempted to introduce modern European paper production technology, first by sending students abroad to learn about this technology and then by purchasing equipment to set up a paper industry. However, during the 19th century, domestic Iranian paper production came under increasing pressure from paper imports, and the government abandoned its efforts to modernize the domestic paper industry.


The authors, renowned scholar Willem Floor in collaboration with Amélie Couvrat Desvergnes a museum conservator of artworks on paper and books, identify and illustrate the watermarks and/or countermarks of the various paper producers and provide examples of the diversity of quality, composition, and nature of the different types of paper used by various strata of the Iranian society. Also provided are detailed import data, showing which country exported paper to Iran, via which routes, as well as their changing market position over time. Finally, the various end uses of paper, from books and farmans to paintings, and diverse packing and utilitarian paper are examined and, where possible, quantified data are presented. This book will reward scholars and general readers alike.


About the Author

Willem Floor studied development economics and non-western sociology, as well as Persian, Arabic and Islamology from 1963-67 at the University of Utrecht (the Netherlands). He received his doctoral degree from the University of Leiden in 1971. Since 1983, Dr. Floor was employed by the World Bank as an energy specialist, however, after his retirement in 2002, he has dedicated his time to the study of the social and political history of Iran, and has published extensively throughout this time. His books include: Public Health in Qajar Iran,  Agriculture in Qajar Iran, and The History of Theater in Iran, as well as, The Persian Gulf: A Political and Economic History of 5 Port Cities, 1500-1730, its second volume, Persian Gulf: The Rise of the Gulf Arabs, 1747-1792, third volume, The Rise and Fall of Bandar-e Lengeh, the fourth volume, Bandar Abbas: The Natural Gateway of Southeast Iran, and the fifth volume, The Persian Gulf: Links with the Hinterland Bushehr, Borazjan, Kazerun, Banu Ka’b, & Bandar AbbasThe Persian Gulf: The Hula Arabs of The Shibkuh Coast of Iran, and The Persian Gulf: Dutch-Omani Relations A Commercial & Political History 1651-1806, and The Persian Gulf: Muscat – City, Society and Trade . He has also published, Travels Through Northern Persia, 1770-1774, Titles and Emoluments in Safavid Iran, and A Social History of Sexual Relations in Iran; Labor and Industry in Iran, 1850-1941; Guilds, Merchants and Ulama in 19th Century Iran; The Rise and Fall of Nader Shah; Games Persians Play, and History of Bread in Iran. His translations include: Samuel Gottlieb Gmelin’s Travels Through Northern Persia 1770–1774 , and with Hasan Javadi, Abbas Qoli Aqa Bakikhanov’s The Heavenly Rose-Garden: A History of Shirvan & Daghestan; Evliya Chelebi’s Travels in Iran and the Caucasus, 1647 and 1654; A Man of Two Worlds: Pedros Bedik in Iran, 1670–1675, Awake: A Moslem Woman’s Rare Memoir of Her Life and Partnership with the Editor of Molla Nasreddin, the Most Influential Satirical Journal of the Caucasus and Iran, 1907–1931, and Engelbert Kaempfer: Exotic Attractions in Persia, 1684–1688: Travels & Observations.
Amélie Couvrat Desvergnes is an independent conservator working on paper artworks, books, maps, posters, 3D paper objects, modern art. She received her M.A. in Conservation from the University Panthéon-Sorbonne-Paris in 2002. She has worked at la Bibliothèque Nationale de France, the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Tate Britain, as well as at the National Museum of India in New-Delhi. Amélie specializes in Islamicate manuscripts and Indian miniatures paintings.