Style Court

Eight Years of Textiles, History, Art, Gardens, and a Little Mental Traveling with Courtney Barnes

3.14.2012

Sampling

 [Images one, two, and three of the mid-20th-century indigo folio via Sri.]


Today, while browsing the latest finds over at Sri, I came across this midcentury accordion-style sample book filled with 38 indigo cotton swatches. What gives added charm to the presentation is an outer cardboard folio, which the textile dealer describes as resembling a folding Japanese screen. It's decorated with pine trees and a flying crane, and has a cord to secure the accordion.

[James Leman dated March 11, 1707: Pencil, pen and ink, watercolor and bodycolor on laid paper. V & A collection, purchased with the assistance of The Art Fund and the National Heritage Memorial Fund.]

Whenever I see an interesting sample book, I tend to think of the Leman Album, a leather-bound collection of 18th-century British weaver/designer James Leman's watercolor designs for silk cloth.  Nearly five years have passed since I first linked to the V & A's wonderful aquisition; in that time many more of the 97 designs have become viewable online. Here's an example of how the longer drawings fold to fit the format of the album.

Related past post: Silks and Stripes.

3 comments:

Janet said...

So beautiful! The art of the sample.

Style Court said...

Would be fun to start collecting, wouldn't it, Janet?

Janet said...

Oh, my gosh, yes (not that I need something else to collect!). I can't imagine they are easy to find. JTL has lots of Victorian sample books for carpet, fabric, and wallpapers. Nothing like the Japanese pieces though. . .