A fine pair of two sheet moulds with exceptionally beautiful watermarks. Made by Edwin Amies & Son in June 1894 for the security printers Waterlow & Sons Ltd. Each sheet carries Waterlow's name and an oval device of a snake with its tail in its mouth (an ouroboros - see http://www.ireference.ca/search/Ouroboros/) surrounding a bundle of twigs which I initially thought resembled asparagus tips. I have been unable to find out the meaning of this device or its significance to Waterlows. The Ouroboros symbol appears in both 14th-15th century Albigensian printing watermarks and is also worked into the pip cards of many early (14th-15th century) playing cards, including Tarot cards. The twigs could be "wands" as used in tarot cards.
© Copyright Simon Barcham Green 2011. Not to be copied or reproduced with written permission