[All images in this post via Powell's.]
If I compiled an annual Neiman's-style fantasy Christmas catalog for myself, a vintage two-volume set, The Chintz from the Calico Museum of Textiles, would be included for 2012.
True, I originally posted this book back in 2009 -- as Seema Krish says, all of the Calico Museum books are coveted by textile junkies -- but today Powell's has a listing for the hard-to-track-down cloth-covered editions.
Typically the Museum's older books have only a dozen or so color plates. This set is remarkable with nearly 120 color illustrations. Of course, its rarity also means the price is rather remarkable. If I ever find the books at a public library, I'll let you know. On a more promising note, some of Indian Textile scholar John Irwin's editions can still be found with more modest price tags.
I'm not affiliated with Powell's -- just wanted to share this extraordinary find. For more of Seema's suggestions, click here.