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M007b Auvergne a la Main

M007b Auvergne a la Main

These moulds made by Amies probably date from the mid 20th century although the watermarks were added in the 1970s. In 1974, prior to taking over Hayle Mill from W & R Balston Ltd, I succeeded in securing a large contract from the Richard de Bas museum in Ambert, France.

Richard de Bas is one of the oldest papermills in Europe and is well worth making a journey to -

After it closed commercially in the 1950s it was rescued by a remarkable man Marius Peraudeau. By the 1970s it was so popular with visitors and in sales to various printers and artists that its capacity was insufficient so we were asked to supply the considerable shortfall which we did for several years. This in turn helped to rescue Hayle Mill as it was a good proportion of our income. The contracts were a secret (partly as M Peraudeau told me we made their paper better than they did) and inadvertent clues were a source of intrigue for our US importer Vera Freeman of Andrews Nelson Whitehead.

M Peraudeau later started a spin off museum at Vallis Clausa in Provence ( and we made paper with those watermarks too. Some moulds used for Richard de Bas were made especially for them and returned to France when the contracts ended. Others were adaptations of our own moulds and are now in Bavaria and Japan.

The "art et valeur Paris" watermarks were fitted to existing moulds for Richard de Bas to supply lithographic publishers Art & Valeur and I would like to think the paper was used for a series of Salvador Dali lithographs

The moulds also carry the "Auvergne a la Main" watermark that appeared in all Richard de Bas paper. Don't believe everything you see in a watermark!