This Wednesday’s watermark comes once again from the Islamic Manuscripts Collection - one of the papers in Isl. Ms. 508 to be exact. The watermark features a stag leaping over a pond.
The manuscript is a multi-work codex or majmūʻah of various works copied at different times. Only a couple of the sections are explicitly dated. The section copied on stag watermarked paper is undated, but an ownership statement provides a terminus ante quem of 1875 or 6.
Stag motifs were employed by several Italian, French and German papermakers for their watermarks.  The stag could appear wholly or in part (i.e. entire body or just head or front quarters), leaping in full stride (courant) or with hind legs on the ground and forelegs in the air (salient or springing), with antlers in single or double line, and with or without accompanying letters.
Numerous examples appear in Briquet, Piccard and Gravell .
Alas, none of these quite match our stag leaping over a pond and most date far too early.  Nevertheless, three other manuscripts from our Islamic Manuscripts Collection also feature stag watermarks quite similar to that appearing in Isl. Ms. 508. All date to the mid to late 19th century.
In the case of Isl. Ms. 284, the stag is once again leaping over a verdant pond and is accompanied by the name "POLLERI." The manuscript is undated, but the associated patronage of the composition allows for a conservative dating of the transcript of sometime after 1843.
Another appearance of this mark accompanied by the name "POLLERI" is reported by Adam Gacek in his union catalogue of Arabic manuscripts in the libraries of McGill University.  The mark appears in folios which Gacek identifies as transcribed in 1836.
In the case of Isl. Ms. 858, the mark also appears with a name, this time "BAGLIETTO."
The manuscript is also undated, but an ownership statement once again provides a terminus ante quem of 1875.
In both Isl. Ms. 284 and Isl. Ms. 858, the stag watermarked paper is accompanied by a paper watermarked "GIOR MAGNANI" under scrollwork (or arms) with bird above tower and countermarked "ALMASSO."
All in all, this allows us to suggest a conservative range for the circulation of our stag over pond marked paper of 1836-1875, with the most confident dating near the middle of the century. Hopefully this dating can be refined as more examples come to light.
In the meantime, keep a spring in your step!
 Piccard Watermark Collection (Wasserzeichensammlung Piccard), online database at:
 A few of those appearing in Russian papers date to the 1820s and 1830s but seem to not resemble our motif and to appear with different names. See nos. 1122, 1123, 1210, and 1321 in С.А. Клепиков, Филиграни на бумаге русского производства XVIII-начала XX вв (Москва 1978), p.65, 70, 75, 228.
 Adam Gacek, Arabic Manuscripts in the Libraries of McGill University: Union Catalog, (Montreal: McGill University Libraries, 1991), p.115-116, no.118 / 2
 See p.88 in Terence Walz, "The Paper trade of Egypt and the Sudan in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries and Its Re-export to the Bilad as-Sudan," In The Trans-Saharan Book Trade: Manuscript Culture, Arabic Literacy, and Intellectual History in Muslim Africa, Eds. Graziano Krätli and Ghislaine Lydon (Leiden : Brill, 2011): 73-108.