stains / discoloration ☜☞ manchas / decoloración

At the time of their printing, sueltas were regarded as ephemera: part of the literatura de cordel (cordel literature) tradition. Since all paper of the period was rag paper, it is not surprising how well they have lasted; the best-preserved ones still have whiteness and crispness about them. But it is also true, and not surprising, that most of the paper used was of the cheapest quality.

Many of the sueltas have acquired some brown stains and some overall discoloration. Foxing refers specifically to a reddish-brown, small circular stain, probably from minute pieces of iron in paper that has been attacked by mildew or mold. Larger, more-irregularly-shaped brown stains may be caused by mold growing on the paper due to poor storage conditions. Overall brown discoloration is usually the result of an excess of alum (an acid) added to the processing water or to the gelatin used for sizing the paper. [CB]

If a suelta, probably never considered a treasured item, survived 200 to 300 years, it is not surprising that it would show some of the vicissitudes of life, and water stains are the most common among them. An accurate and complete general description of the item in a bookdealer's catalog will always include mention of a water stain if present on any of the pages.

See also: foxing
Example of a water stain.

Additional observation: Along with the water stain, this suelta at birth acquired a nasty fold across the title, and an enthusiastic reader or actor took a pen to it.

El imposible mas fácil

[Private collection SzT]