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Gin and a neat watermark

THOSE who log on for our fortnightly Skype meetings would have heard Malcolm Cole speak about an unusual watermark device.

It is not only its size which makes it stand out, but also the fact that it is housed at  the  Bombay Sapphire Gin distillery at Laverstoke Mill, Whitchurch, near Reading.

Originally the mill produced

corn before the site was bought

by Henry Portal in 1718 and

converted into a paper mill. In 1724

Portal won the contract to produce Bank of England notes and pioneered the use of the watermark in paper currency.

As Malcolm says, the watermark (pictured left) is really is stunning.


"The amount of work undertaken to weave the picture onto the dandy roll is mind-blowing. 


"As you know, the thickness of the wire used determines the light and shade of the final result and a picture of this complexity is truly breath-taking."

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