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History of the Textile Art.

Period fashion: Volume I: Patterned Wool; Volume II: Patterned Cotton 1903-1925.

Milan: Styling Consulting Service, [1980s?] Stock Code: 140454
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Rare visual reference for patterned textiles.

First and only edition of this visually beguiling and historically informative collection. The title leaf reports that "this photographic publication, composed of pictures of original fabrics from 1903 up to 1925, taken from private files, has been created to offer a proof of art and culture in the evolution of costume". We have been unable to trace any other copies.

There is no indication of a printer or publisher anywhere in either volume or in the custom boxes, nor any other hints as to the origin of this fascinating collection of pin-sharp colour photographs of fabric swatches. The work, however, is clearly of Italian origin, and there is a hint of FMR in the thematic, and in the precision of execution and presentation.

The first volume concentrates on wool weaves; tweeds, herringbones, plaids, and checks in a wide range of weights and colourways; the second is filled an even wider selection of patterned cottons, a fabulous array encompassing design trends from the early decades of the 20th Century, with inevitable hints at art deco, art nouveau, and sometimes brasher "jazz" influences; all kinds of stripes, gingham, tartans, textiles suggestive of ties, cravats, suit linings, waistcoats, figured fabrics for dresses or skirts, women's coats or jackets, even upholstery or blinds. A painstaking, and no doubt costly exercise, the precision in the execution of the photography and processing bespeak a seriousness of purpose which makes the anonymity of the project even more extraordinary.

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Two volumes folio (297 x 210 mm). Black rough-weave cloth solander boxes with drop sides, title gilt to spines and front boards, explanatory title leaf to volume I, gold printed on glossy black medium card-stock, the boxes containing respectively 50 and 100 loose sheets of similar card-stock, each with mounted high-quality colour photographs (c.180 x 180 mm to c.228 x 172 mm) of fabric swatch composites, between 3 and 8 samples to each, lettered and numbered in gold.


Slightly rubbed and a little dusty, spines sunned, corners bumped, small neatly repaired tear at foot of spine of volume II, card leaves with the occasional minor scuff, but remains very good.


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Established in 1969, Peter Harrington is one of the leading rare book firms in the world. It is a proud member of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association – along with ILAB, the PBFA and Lapada – and from shops in Mayfair and Chelsea, London, sells rare books, prints and ephemera to customers across the world.

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