Milan, April 3 - Famous Italian notebook-maker Moleskine performed well on its debut on the Milan stock exchange in early trading on Wednesday, gaining 2.6%. The company says its notebook is 'the heir and successor' to the sort used by Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso and Ernest Hemingway. The hardy pocket-sized notebooks, which have a tough cardboard cover with an elastic band to kept them closed, became scarce in the 1980s after the small French bookbinder that traditionally supplied them went out of business. But a slightly larger Milanese publisher brought them back to life in 1997 and the firm has gone from strength to strength ever since. The name Moleskine was coined by the English novelist and travel writer Bruce Chatwin, who repeatedly complained when the traditional models became hard to find and started buying up all the notebooks he could find before his death in 1989. The globe-trotting Chatwin famously said he would rather lose his passport than the little black oilskin notebooks on which he'd taken to jotting down his thoughts.