'T^ E^^CT, 5 O O K^ °r





Cornell University Library

The anatomy
of pattern

3 1S9A 031 236 114

Cornell University Library The original of tliis book is in the Cornell University Library. the United States on the use of the . There are no known copyright restrictions in text.




of German Gotlpic 'Tracery 'Pattern & .^la-te Construction.



and not by any means con- sidered as ornamental addenda to the book.PREFACE. elementary as my I have taken effort some pains in' to save him all unnecessary following meaning. when should have been so grateful for any practical teaching in ornarrient. that I fancy there must be students have set who for will find it helpful to plainly before myself them what I have had to puzzle out Hence this series of Text Books Design . subject is. have assumed no great amount of tech- nical or artistic reader — only that my knowledge on the part of the he wants to know. . And. of Ornamental in which I have of in amplified and of illustrated the substance delivered a series Cantor Lectures December I last before the Society of Arts. The illustrations are to be taken literally as illustrations. There was a time artistic in my own I struggling for existence.

W. as explanatory so that from the study of I them alone. March Tptk. I stances was feasible. Preface.C. of the in plates. apart from what have to say. as an ornaIt . 1887. . itself . London. Mecklenburg Square. I have as tried far to make each one possible. have naturally made the necessary diagrams as interesting as under the circummentist. is only as diagrams that they have any claim to insertion although. Lewis 13. a of pattern fair idea of the construction might be gained. Day.

8 25 The "Drop" Pattern Skeleton Plans Appropriate Pattern 34 V. PAGE I. VI. Introductory i II.TABLE OF CONTENTS. 40 47 .— Pattern Dissection III.— Practical Pattern Planning IV.


FRETS. hexagon. 5. THE SQUARE lines. and other diapers based compound. CURVILINEAR PATTERNS — Showing the construction of the wave. 7. 1. and lozenge up on the lines of the equilateral triangle. THE TRIANGLE — Diapers shapes. the ogee. THE OCTAGON — Simple octagon diapers and the lines of their construction. 10. —Checks and other diapers cross-lines. —Dissected. ALL-OVER PATTERN Showing which it is planned. diamond. hexagon. zigZagS. THE LATTICE AND THE DIAMOND &c. and their anatomy 11. or is built. 8. built —Plaids. &c.. THE CONSTRUCTION OF GOTHIC TRACERY PATTERNS Showing the square. THE HEXAGON — Honeycomb its upon the hexagon and 9. the net. circular. THE TRIANGLE— Diapers composed triangle of the equilateral and its compounds. — the cross-lines upon 6. built of star.DESCRIPTIVE LIST OF PLATES. other plan on which elaborate tracery 2. on 4. ARAB LATTICE PATTERNS laid bare. . &c. — Showing their construction on a network of cross-lines. built on cross- 3.

TAPESTRY OF THE XVTH CENTURY —With the rectis angular unit of repeat. SICILIAN design SILK —With on which the is built. the pattern. the cross-lines (B) the dropped parallelogram plan. turned LATE-GOTHIC VELVET Showing horizontal effect of pattern constructed upon the lines of the ogee or hexagon. List of Plates. OTHER CIRCULAR DIAPER FORMS— Produced by secting circles. 15. 24. lines showing the points 13. BOOK-COVER — Showing result of reversing. THE SCALE PATTERN Together with ogee. 22. — Showing construction upon the lines of the scale pattern. in which the pattern over. A STAR PATTERN ITALIAN DAMASK — Showing its six different ways of arriving at a simple diaper. 18. and again 19. after the manner of the weaver. inter- 14. reversing. DIAPERS OF CIRCLES—With from which they are struck. SOME PATTERN PLANS —Shovring (A) the square plan. — 23.X 12. 21. cusped. FREE JAPANESE DIAPER— The repetition of geometric forms not geometrically disposed. HENRI II. A DROP-PATTERN—In which first the construction is not at apparent. — 16. WALL-PAPER PATTERN— Shovnng Ogee it is lines on which planned. 20. 17. and the diagonal lines it assumes. and other shapes derived from it. .

FOLIATED SCROLL —A design made ij. as distinct from the lines it takes. ARAB TILE AND LATTICE PATTERNS— Showing simple means by which intricacy produced. confusion of 29. 33. — Showing ogee. PERSIAN TEXTjLE-^Showing the lines of the double square on which tae pattern is constructed. 32. yet assuming an ogee shape. SET PATTERN — Explanatory of economy in weaving. the 28. xi which the same MAP— Showing simple pattern three plans. 27. the^ 35. 25. or diamond 34. DAMASK by —On plan of waved upright lines. VARIOUS DROP PATTERNS drop according to its — Showing is the effect of the length. - 26. &c.List of Plates. — 31. ITALIAN SILK plan. DIAGONAL DAMASK PATTERN tion —Showing is its Construc- on the diamond. hexagon. on square lines. crossed horizontal bknds of rosettes. — Exemplifying t' the intentional 30. . whilst the grotesque creatures introduced follow tke lines of the square block. WALL-PAPER DESIGN Showing a "drop" in the ornamental scroll. which not apparent. DESIGN forms. on either of may be produced.


. Page „ 36. dele from "But to " upright line. dele from .." " to end of paragraph. •" When " 37 2.ERRATA. —Line 14.


I.THE ANATOMY OF PATTERN. is as any "shape or model as strictly for quite speaking a one cannot exactly define pattern as repeating ornament. It is more than probable that some meall chanical necessity gave rise to geometric B . in the in somewhat technical sense designer. But inasmuch imitation" pattern." one might argue that repetition is implied in ornamental pattern. pattern mostly petition. INTRODUCTORY. necessity of repetition. Nevertheless. The tion dictionary scarcely helps us to a defini- of the word pattern. which it is used by the Inasmuch as a pattern signifies a "specimen. face of it comes of reMany a pattern bears on the very the evidence that it grew directly out of the.

the grain of wood. weave. that one may say is wherever there pattern. Take any form you at regular intervals. say nothing of the attempt to suppress wasteful degree. so small.2 The Anatomy of Pattern. would seem to be to of opportunity the very last The very pattern . the crystallisation of the breath upon the window- regular. a pattern. that the but warp and weft are invisible to the naked eye and all that remains for us to it is there . it. it all we can. The be distribution of the parts need not even sand. or to make the the best best of Out of it of the determination to make has grown much to of the most beautiful pattern-work. produces so much is so. repetition of parts. pattern certainly it is impossible to plait. or otherwise mechanically It make. the veins of marble. whether you want or no. knit. without producing pattern. spiration. The wave marks on the . as surely as the recurrence of sounds will pro- duce rhythm or cadence. then. . it and repeat it and you have. do is to efface it. To neglect this source of in- therefore. net. as it may be often is in weaving. ordered repetition there please.



panes, the curls of the hair, the very features

of the




themselves into



this last the case,








patterns that

remind one of



even room for
not have been

speculation whether


a view of escaping



rather, that the designer first

took to the deliberate use of those masks and
grotesque heads, which form so prominent a
feature in certain styles of ornament.

The popular
mental design

idea of the process of ornais,

that the artist has only to


before a piece of paper, and, like a

spider, spin out the fancies that

may crowd his
is is


Indeed, there

scope in

design for




but he

no Zeus

that ornament




full-grown from his brain.



constructed, patiently

(I will

not say laboriously, for the artist loves the
labour), patiently built

up on

lines inevitable





so simple, that to the
lay bare




difficult to




just as the physiologist divides

the animal world, according to anatomy, into B 2


The Anatomy of Pattern.
classes, so

the ornamentist



to classify all pattern-work according to its

Like the




able even

to show the affinity between groups to

appearance dissimilar


and, indeed, to point-

how few

are the varieties of skeleton variety of effect



all this


Before enumerating these varieties, let us

suppose for a
this is




to imagine (and

by no means an imaginary case) that he will make to himself a repeating pattern
without regard to

logical construction





domain there should be no That would be, from my point of

view, a profoundly foolish thing to



more than
and no





He may

design a unit in which there
formality, but the


moment he
it so,


that unit,

the very order of
if I


proves to be,



the cupboard

will be found. might be imagined that by designing in some such haphazard fashion as I have just

which the skeleton

supposed, the


would secure to

his design

a freedom of

an absence of formality, not

readily to be obtained

systematic method.

by adopting the more But this is not by any






indeed, the design be of that



over, that there


no one feature

more pronounced than
But that


pass muster, notwithstanding
not to

the want of backbone.




as a design.



scarcely worth the pains to take exceptional

measures merely to

this insignificant end.

on the other hand, a design be above

the level of insignificance, there must be in

some dominant feature or features, which, when many times repeated, will appear more
prominent than
It is to, these features

that the eye will irresistibly be drawn



the lines

they take in relation one to
It is

another, which will assert themselves.

hardly to be expected that,
never been


these lines have

taken into consideration, they

should come out very satisfactorily

—and, as a

matter of experience, they always come out

Every one must have suffered more or less from wall-paper, and other patterns,, in which certain ill-defined but awkward stripes impressed themselves upon him and he may

have imagined

possibly, if

he thought about

that this effect of stripes

came of working


vertical, horizontal, or

he would counteract a tendency to stripes in one direction by features directing the attention otherwards . and he would so clothe any itself. that he can escape The over- whelming odds are. and.6 It The Anatomy of Pattern. or any such encumbrance. a fluke. only by a miracle. It is with- out defence against contingencies practically certain to arrive. the result of not all. would make sure of lines not in themselves offensive. doubtful line that there would be no fear of its unduly asserting it as in its naked(it is ness might. that the petty considerations he has despised. of valour who disdains to The mighty man be -trammelled by is principles. or failure. He foresees the danger a danger even to the most experienced) and he is fore-armed against it. will be quite enough to wreck any venture he has dared in defiance of them. was much more likely. Since. it is practically inevitable that in ornarriehtal there shall be definite lines design—seeing that if you don't arrange for them they arrange themselves is the merest — ^it common sense to lay with. then. working upon definite lines at A designer who knew the ABC of his business. in -fact. to down those lines to begin make them the skeleton .

7 upon which you build up your You few. or framework pattern. that these skeletons are after very . will see. when they are laid bare for all you.Introductory.

which practically grows out of it. II. I said.pattern cording to First stripe. For immediately you make any break in the repeated line. line itself is broken. PATTERN DISSECTION. in It order of obviousness comes the comes also very early in order of invention the loom must from the beginning have suggested the stripe-pattern. series of horizontal bands broken It at equal intervals by a series of rosettes. however. fall .8 The Anatomy of Pattern. Suppose a is clear. its may be classified ac- structure. they give upright lines they are If the shifted you get diagonal cross lines. as in the case of a series . the recurrence of that break gives other lines in the cross direction. carries us only a very short distance in the direction of design. that if the rosettes one under the or if other. : The stripe. Repeated.

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But if we alter the angle at which the lines cross. Alter your point of view (or turn the design 45 degrees round) and you get the diamond. or and you get at once a (Plate familiar to us in black and white 2. still g in more plainly. or. have all manner of plaids and tartans. gives the cross line just the same. And This so we come at once to the vast order lines. of waved series of lines. or the point of the zigzag. The simplest form of check or lattice is when the crossing is at equal intervals and at Vary the interval. arising as inevitably does out of the very primitive art of plaiting. when it is repeated. Suppose the interwoven strips were all of one colour. You have what only to interweave strips colours. of intersection would make a lattice or basket-work pattern. the turn of the wave. of patterns constructed upon cross is probably quite the it first in point of time. is of two different check. then the lines. and you right angles.) as the chess-board pattern. a Vandykes. The real difference in point of view : makes no difference direction. in plan it is a stripe may take any but always a stripe.Pattern Dissection. we get not only a fresh variety of .

In the case of a regular network of crosslines there is no particular reason filled why they should always be chess-board.. I will call the diamond. intricacy. contended that the square. This is obviously absurd. may be seen in Plate This theory. those. in alternately a la They may just as well be on. and so as themselves into patterns of great and even of 2. The only are patterns built on the square those in which. the artist (con- sciously or not) worked. The actual squares apparent in a scroll. at least.lo shapes. . upon. however. The Anatomy of Pattern. or that can be woven. must not be pressed too like hiard. the threads forming the squares on which the design is laid. threes. for the sake of clearness. and other developments of the lattice are exemplified in Plate 3. It might be patterns are formed on all patterns. re- grouped solving variety in twos. Various plaids. diamond's. but we get also a diamond shape which. . at which however we have not yet arrived. or a false idea out of all you may squeeze something very it. fives. which plays a very important part in the next order of patterns. coarsely- woven or in the old-fashioned sampler. lines.

^-^lale 5- .


we take the and work upon them. some of them of ex- A ceeding intricacy. is constructed on geometric or only ar- it falls within them. The when you come to dissect the two. but to lation into a textile fabric. intermitting them) a wonderful range of inter- lacements and the like . as to those in and all so-called free patterns. its \ i trans- If instead of the chess-board lines get. more or which might be mistaken of design. for a distinct order But it is only a variety. applies quite as much ranged so that skeleton. spots. therefore. we without departing from those lines (onlyof the lattice. as in the case of the "fret" number of these are shown on Plate 4. It really matters little whether a design lines. a kind of spot pattern. is the same in either case. which the constructional lines actually occur as lines. not to the pattern. limit to the ever-increasing all built There seems no range of pattern-work thus disclosed.Pattern Dissection. Our theory of construction. upon the same constructional scaffolding. belong. You have not done suc- away with ceeded in construction when you have keeping the scaffolding out of . From the intermission of the lines results less free. to sprigs.

two angles be together equal to one of . Again. If instead of the square lattice. Cross the square lattice by a series of dia- gonal lines bisecting the right is angles to say cutting the squares in half. So far we have had all to do only with the simplest of possible schemes. the use of the broken line instead of the straight. on). we shall have to consider more particularly- further effect. and a most important one. makes no skeleton lines difference except in is The the all. the triangle. to say. 5. The introduction of a third series of cross lines constitutes a new departure. a third diaper series of cross lines bisecting the angles of the diamond produces if equally a of triangles. or of the curved (which sight. one starts with a lattice of diamond shape. though planned you show no at as in the "all is over" pattern on Plate which on the parallelogram given by lattice lines. same. in which at most two series of lines intersect one another. that and we have a new form to work upon.1 The Anatomy of Pattern. And sharp the diamonds of the lattice be of a that is certain proportion^f.



cj'ir-a.itk'.Tk>><i.n<ivn>.SKfBi»i ».x.n^late 7.c .


.fPlate 8.'ElLMaldeh'. CTIU.


cross we by cross itself. 8. composed of eighteen triangles or three hexagons. and form compound themselves exactly-fitting diapers. the star (a group of twelve). 1 the blunter angles. By the use of a fourth series of cross lines another new shape is evolved. .Pattern Dissection. shapes. e. will show how immensely the designer's scope is now widened. far which of triangles away the most useful in design. 7. the star. We finity in have already the basis of mosaic all that in- of geometric pattern which inlay. three triangle) . such as that on Plate 7. A glance at the three Plates 6. diamonds and a which is or that on Plate 8. as in Plate By merely grouping the equilateral triangles. Returning if it once again to the square it diagonally both ways. you have only to bisect the blunt third angle of the diamonds by arrive at all this series of cross lines to the is equilateral triangle. lattice. 6. which and other shapes. is made up of seven triangles (i. we in find Byzantine and it. we get the hexagon (a group of six triangles). the Moresque tile-work derived from be seen other that the It will hexagon.

14 that four. appears almost as if a new . as the hexagon only in connection with a square. The Anatomy of Pattern. principle had been introduced analysis the (Plate 10) but upon designs . to the seat of a common cane-bottomed chair. diamond. cross more elaborate lattice by a lattice like itself. so that each square is cut up into (Plate 9) you get out of those lines the octagon but not an equal-sided octagon . octagon. or other four-sided will repeat. where this is ultra-elabora- tion of lines employed. It is possible to carry the principle of radiastill. and there will appear four-sided gaps between (Plate ated. that it Place side by side a series of octagons. is. certain Arab patterns. for example. series of lines gives us : witness new new varieties of radionce more the elaborate Nevertheless. interlacings of the Arabs all of which. is not a unit which will of itself It is form a diaper. figure. this . however. even the most magnificent. are closely related. You may. The will. built on a cross lattice of different proportions. patterns 9). but you get by that means rather tion further this intricacy than variety — especially it when the In intersecting lines are in part interrupted. that is.

JI.fPlsLte 9. . « 3>nV>i .tM*11*>>Dl^AwaJ.


^late 10. .


can lines. skeleton.Pattern Dissection. However. —so few upon which pattern is conAlready we have come to the end of the straight-lined family. resolve - 15 themselves into the elements with which we have already had to deal are the plans structed. I had only to dissect that it it. which. to upset promised all my the patPentagon diaper and its neatly theories arranged on of subject tern anatomy. you not make a lines of the on other on the pentagon for example ? together so Well. friend the diamond as at in disguise but so artfully made up it is. to discover was our old . diaper it may be asked. Not long since I came upon just such a diaper. There It consists of . for a mo- ment. Why. first sight to deceive. you may if put many pentagons — and a very re- spectable diaper they form further enrich the —especially you pentagons with five-pointed stars.

be arranged on one or other of the foregoing plans. Whether or not the idea of flowing patterns is originated in the circle. it circle is so important a alters it so entirely scope of geometric pattern. such as have already been described. telling that shapes of It wants no any kind may be put . The circle itself must. pentagons put side by the interstices between them ingeniously filled with stars and triangles. It must be struck. arranged. it is only one of the innumerable arbitrary shapes that arranged. feature in may be so the But the itself. we must resort circle. deserves One cannot simply ignore the element of curvilinear design in ornament. that to be considered apart.1 The Anatomy of Pattern. indeed. of no great conse- . . side. much as the pentagons them- selves are filled— so that one does not readily distinguish between the parts. together to form a pattern but that does not alter the fact that the lines on which they are fall. or into which they must be those I have already laid down all which are indeed the base of possible pattern. For further variety to the use of the in design. say. that is to from centres corresponding to the points In so far of intersection of lines.



and you The relation of the hexagon or octais gon diaper to the diaper of circles if obvious. and you have the ogee. and you get waved as may be seen in common hurdle. quence. the busy bee. hexagon circle. and the hexagonal form of the is cells of the honeycomb all simply the result of find that cylinders gravitation. as also the principle of perceived in the first stars. just blunted at the points. the very pattern ever traced we by human hand may have consisted of circles. Instinct 17 must have preceded geo- metric principles in the mind of man. One may very easily deduce many of the common curvilinear patterns directly from angular motives.) The wave. for example. is a zigzag.Pattern Dissection. just as you is crowded become hexagonal sees the prisms. one may suggest such a thing without irreverence. only works in a circle. know. (Plate 1 1. hexagon. the perspective view of the Round the corners of the arrive at a rude or octagon. Soften the lines of the Interlace lines. Presumably. The circular form the moment he first radiation is familiar to man from sun or moon For all like a disc in the sky. The primeval artist had only to pick up the c . straight rods.

By is . to get a series of round impressions. and indent the damp for earth with the end of it. The the simplest form of circle diaper is when .circles are arranged on the square or the . diamond plan and so as . which would pass I don't a very respectable diaper. . circles. that the ways in which patterns are formed can be reduced and that they practically to the siniplest force themselves upon the workman^making him. The circle. much and greater elaboration it makes all dif- ference whether you determine the proportions of the circle according to the lines on which they are struck (as in Plate 12) or not (as on the upper part of Plate 1 3).is I The Anatomy of Pattern. an effect of at once obtained . with its segment the curve. the intersection of the one by the another. nearest dry twig. _ self. and compound the spiral. assumes extreme importance whenwe come to the consideration of the scroll (with which just now we are not its concerned) . as it were. but it it will be seen that even in mere diapers leads to an apparently new order of things. an artist in spite of himonly mean to insist . to touch at the edges. upon it. I say that was so.

.CPlate 12.


^i^pers -"-^b-^i-W.^^^. .fPlate 13. (^i^j^g *COiislY-uctio(i of Scale "pattern. 'rbc iti1cri«lion oF dotted ltn«b dhoiuoccnlrcborcirclc .


.n^lsLte 14.


referred to as being a curvilinear modification of the hexagon. itself may be deduced from interlacing it. diaper (same plate) in which appears the ogee shape. in maze of pattern-work. The hexagon . we reach always. by a veiy different road. which (as you may see on Plate 15) might equally have been derived from the scales of a or the fish plumage of a bird's neck. is figures very nearly approaching the straight-lined hexagon. which also must needs be put together on one or other of the plans already propounded. Further. In this way the straight-lined series might . and you have a more graceful. as well as a more complicated. 1 Out of the circle. The scale may also scales be considered as a translation of the Re-arrange the diamond into curved lines. we get manner also the trefoil. the quatrefoil. or its segments.thing —and the result (Plate 11). the same pointy C 2 . be derived from the curved this and so once more. and all of cusped shapes (Plate 15). out of the segments of the circle you can construct the scale pattern.Pattern Dissection. Suppose a network of ogee shapes wave lines or — it amounts to the same a series of six-sided . once before.

which the limited variety of the skeleton on the combination of straight lines with which pattern From curved (Plates 12 and 13) result all manner of new diaper forms . although they may be both one and the other. or even whether founded your design upon the diamond—such close kindred do those various skeleton betray. present way of skeleton. which. A natomy of Pattern. as in the case of marble inlay. or More especially is this likely if tender colours if be employed to soften the colour variations do not quite follow the pattern.2o The is. however. is built. You might start a scroll pattern. from for reasons quite apart intrinsically interesting or beautiful in them. such as was common in the sixteenth or seventeenth cennothing very new in the turies (Plate 17) on the lines either of the hexagon or of the ogee. I have dwelt at some length upon anything rudi- mentary diaper forms. or of a mixture of curved and straight lines which I may call the broken ogee g-roundwork . where the accidental colour of is the material a relief from the geometric . and in the end it would not be you had not lines very clear which of them you had taken for a . the forms.

n^late 15 .


Pattern Dissection. as that a figure draughtsman should have some knowledge of superficial anatomy. monotony of the shapes.) But it is more all as a basis of design that we have at present to consider geometric forms. The basis tial of repeated patterns this is. the softening effect that age might impart to it. in most instances. however. indeed. and no traditional forms of . He has not merely to invent pretty patterns. not just those which beauty would have decreed. For art all the simplicity of the skeleton lines he has to deal with. but patterns that can be conveniently out for worked —and the lines mapped him by the conditions of his work. are. wiping out a bit of it cipating. the pattern designer's is not such a simple thing as you might suppose. (Plate 14. as I said. as essen- geometric. anti- times go so far as to interrupt the pattern. and so we begin to see had there been no such thing as pattern design before. being so. it is that the designer should be acquainted it is with simple geometric principles. And. . to be identical with all the lines already shown to be the basis of recurring pattern-work that. They prove. 2 The Japanese somehere and there.

On in Plate i6 are which one shown six different ways and the same simple staif at. if the ogees interlace. you can deduce it either from the other. impossible to say whether this was the outcome of the or simply of the pro- ogee. or of waved lines. You cannot safely dogmatise as to the origin of this or that pattern . Put side by side a series of waved lines so that their is curves are opposed (Plate ii) and the effect exactly the same as though you had opened out an ogee diaper pattern . design for us to follow. primitive handicraft.22 The Anatomy of Pattern. pattern may be arrived . one of the most interesting points see in the analysis of pattern design to regularly how we work identically the round. plaiting. lines first given to us It is . and so on. again and again. those very forms must have been evolved as certainly out of the more complex conditions of modern manufacture as they were out of the simple contrivances of That is to say. would equally have been prescribed by the printing roller or the power loom. again (same is plate). there are always so many ways in which it might have been suggested. cess of netting. to same shapes. that the by the primary processes of netting. Or.

.^late 16.


6. the interlacing of two series of octagons. but you have only to note how. the alternate leaves on a slender stem. And the result this does not by any means exhaust number of ways which the same dif- might have been reached. . each occupied by a 4. a quite mechanical and arbitrary arrangement ferent kind. or lozenges. By By By the juxtaposition of right-angled star.Pattern Dissection. the crossing of two series of zigzag cross-lines. in nature. lines. 23 By By the juxtaposition of stars and the addition of cross-lines. 3. diamonds. and the addition of By the crossing of two series of diamonds and the addition of in cross-lines. By merely ex- aggerating the slight wave of the natural stem. you get one of the most conventional of ornamental border patterns. It appears on the face of it. pull it out of the straight to see the natural and inevitable origin of the idea. of a very To you know how common it is to see a waved line with leaves alternating on each side of it. and the addition of cross-lines. 5. the juxtaposition of diamonds and the addition of cross-lines. 2. take another instance. 1.

24 So it it The Anatomy of Pattern. .. in the mentist. would seem that. whether you begin with mechanical construction or with nature. to in the htod of an ornathe same thing in the end only — hands of an ornamentist. works round.

erKA.x.H.-v late 17.c .'>»(T>i st.nii>iidu.


and the printer's blocks . Oriental mind. but he weaver's the So also the cards are inevitably in the shape of parallelo- grams. Nor is it only the style is or character of the design that affected. and though . for manufacture the it is and only by sub- mission to them that success in ornamental design is possible. He may now and then use hexa- triangular unit. delighting in geometric The intricacy. PRACTICAL PATTERN iPLANNING. but its plan also. 25 III. The modern European finds it more convenient to him to adopt the simpler parallelogram. In practical design limitations are strict . has availed itself largely of the built up with it all manner of delightfully elaborate patterns.Practical Pattern Planning. Pattern design is very seriously affected that the possible lines all by the circumstance of construction are not in cases practicable. tiles. and has gonal prefers or other many-sided square.

for the roller is. to adopt a rectangular is repeat. The base of our operations then usually a parallelogram. it is — in the case of wall-paper practically determined for us . to reconsider the pos-' sible lines of pattern construction in their is relation to the rectangular figure. the printer make use of the roller instead - of the block. and again reversing. We have. For example printing. only a block bent round in the shape of a cylinder. as in Plate i8 . whether by instinct or by his tools. Even the bookbinder of the Renaissance. which the repeat determined for us nearly all by the is conditions of modem manufacture. this parallelogram cases restricted in size. for all practical purposes of design. in which also in the exemplified what may be done comparatively way of reversing. ordinarily." was led. the conditions of design remain unaltered . Furthermore. who was comparatively free to do what he liked in the way' of "tooling.26 The Anatomy of Pattern. is in all and in most cases of more or less arbitrary proportions. the unit of design little —so as with drawing to produce the effect of an extensive pattern.

?late 18. .


do what fall he will. repeated pattern will into geometric lines. we are restricted inches. As the wall-paper designer has to content himself. at most 21 Within those free . The of the block may represent a fraction only design. which would be enough to prevent it that kind of extravagance. since a block of greater length than that would be unwieldy. if only those of the parallelo- gram on which it is built. except in very few instances. most capable art to artist is he The who can apply his full most purpose. 27 that the printer's block shall be rectangular. to a square of 21 inches by 21 inches. Custom has further fixed its width at 21 And. value out of his materials. paper-hangings and. such as . in practice the expense of such a prothe paper-hangings cost are ordinarily ceeding would make more than worth . limits he is comparatively but. apart from commercial consider- ations. is contrary to craftsmanship so to misapply labour. and get a matter of fact. with a repeat of inches square. as I his have already shown.Practical Pattern Planning. A pattern. then. which can theoretically be made up But of as many blocks as you please.

28 The Anatomy of Pattern. 19. for what par- ticular it is manufacture a design was made. A. and a length . that is to say. are thus constrained to design are to be of any use) on the usual three. It is based. upon the square. six. controlled by the consideration of economy block-printed fabrics under very similar conditions . tell. is to be traced. and roller-printed to a length as well as a width prescribed. or whatever it may be—and we tiles (if they. . roller. The proportion of the parallelogram within which our design must be confined varies. conditions of restraint but the lines of the repeat are apparent on closer inspection in any single feature whose you recurrence will find. An from experienced designer could often its proportion and scale alone. And in the impracticability of his ideas that the novice most infallibly betrays his lack of experience. on Plate eonform to no actual may seem at first sight to . Apart from the conditions of actual manuit is facture found commercially expedient to tile. eight-inch or other accepted scale to a width fixed textiles by the loom. with the manufacture for which we are designing. . adopt certain fixed dimensions for the block.

.9la1e 19. CrKelPhoto-llth.


velvets. carpets. tiles example. The difference is between 18 and 2 1 inches in width. it would be difficult to estimate. not so apparent to the eye that the purchaser of a French wallpaper need is realise. to reckon upon the " bond " of his brickwork equally clear that without some uni- formity in the width of materials (such as silks. for of them. should know what sized available. . however. off-hand. the public is not seldom misled in that way. dearer than an English paper nominally at the same price ! Something very like a this swindle is perpetrated when facts of kind are is deliberately kept from the buyer. 29 fully There is no occasion to enter more is into all the various technical reasons for the limitations to which the designer subject is The practical convenience patent. and so on). as that may be and it is he should be able . It is as desirable that the architect. As it is. that it actually nearly seventeen per cent. when he selects it. the relative cost of each. chintzes. further fraud in withholding from There a him the in- formation that certain foreign goods sold by the piece are only about three-quarters of the length of English goods competing with them.Practical Pattern Planning.

within the square. to inches. limited. if not fixed. would need to be worked out upon so small a scale as to become quite too insignificant for use. One to give.30 The Anatomy of Pattern. instance of this it may be worth while Suppose a square block of 21 you wish it. and adapt a hexagonal design to Only those who have tried the experiment have any notion how small the hexagons would come. return to the subject To is. —the upshot of it that the designer has habitually to shape his design according to a rectangular plan. then. a very serious question with him how far he can avail himself of any set other basis. The student might with advantage himself to tabulate the possibilities in the way of adapting the various units of repeat to repetition. length they would be too long. in order to be brought into the repeat permitted. It would then be seen that. If you made your hexawidth. gons 10^ inches wide. there are schemes the artist would like to adopt. If you made . and that of It becomes. so as to get two in they would not come true in the . which. though all things are possible. dimensions.

-?late 20.



Practical Pattern Planning.




they would


the square, but

only a space about 21



as a




the width

would work, but only
drop " pattern

that would give hexa-







occupy the square with
true hexagons repeating

without a " drop," they

would need to be
duced to half that






would have to be seven
hexagons to the width,
three inches across.




seen, in



how very





scarcely occur

to the

<-5caTe21 ioc1;)e->

no doubt — it it is a wicked way she has . the adoption of upright patterns cross and Colouring (as in the silks of Byzantine. as well as the turning over of the design on the two sides of an upright stem. and early Italian design). do with the design of Fashion has had her say in the matter. example. but though certain lines have been generally adopted at certain periods and in certain countries. Out for of the conditions of weaving came. considerations had a great deal to pattern-work. I think will invariably be found that there was some technical or practical reason for their adoption in the first instance. or purely imaginary central Plates 20 and 21. . Sicilian.32 The Anatomy of Pattern. may the material may exercise upon There was a whole class of patterns of this kind schemed in the 15th and i6th centuries. which have always uninitiated. with the obvious purpose of disturbing as possible of the rich pile of the as little velvet for which they were designed. too. This is shown in the one taken froni an other old Sicilian silk —the 1 from a coarse seen what woollen fabric of the 5th century. further be In Plate 22 influence pattern. line.

^kte 21. .


?late 22. .


is desirable rather to in introduce Plate 23. 33 essen- The tially turning over of the pattern is a weaver's device. On contrary. In a pattern similarly is planned for printing there that no occasion for same the rigid symmetry it of the two sides.Practical Pattern Planning. as I have done . some variations.

work upon. a danger which occur always level. may be continuous throughout the . to minimise the danger of unforeseen horizontal stripes in his design. form.the Equally of course design must . THE "DROP" PATTERN. cretonne. or the roller its equivalent or the cards . is a square .34 The Anatomy of Pattern. IV. The " drop " is a device by means of which useful skeleton to is The most things considered. or what end of one repeat must tally with the beginning of the next. pattern piece. In the printed or woven silk. the whether paper. is we will say. take that strip. without reducing the scale of his work. is side imminent when the repeats by side on the same The printer's block. the diamond. in order that the not. the designer is enabled. all For it is basis of the diamond that " drop" on the patterns are most readily designed.



but. is But it clear that the design may be so contrived that each succeeding breadth has to be dropped in the hanging. it is a zigzag (instead of a step). There would be no dan- ger then of any horizontal tendency in the on the other hand. so that every alternate strip level. There good reason. in connection with corresponding zigzags above and of below. great likelihood itself.The • ' Drop " Pattern. before a given feature in the design occurred again exactly . is hung on the same Then the diagonal lines correct one another. This " difficulty is avoided if you make the " drop . just one-half the depth of the pattern. on the same lines. which. 35 be so schemed that the ri^t side of one piece of the stuff will fit on to the left of another. in a pattern of 21 inches deep. The design steps downwards and the shorter the steps. the more noticeable is the line they take. for saying D 2 . level. of a diagonal line developing with even more unfortunate effect. may is very possibly form a trellis diamonds. and so on. If any line at all asserts itself. therefore. If this drop were only very slight —say three inches — it would take seven breadths.

If you subdivide a block of 21 inches thus. design. 33. One has heard persons." would only think of the problem as the filling of a diamond shape. You have only to . 24. it would come very easily to them. so that the two smaller divisions a and V together equal the larger division ^. is the diamond a useful plan to work on . it amounts to precisely the same thing as though you designed upon the basis of a squat diamond 21 inches high by 42 inches wide. for upon its it is formed the safest variety of drop namely. 32. When a the pattern within the diamond is symmetrically disposed on the two sides of central upright line. complain of the difficulty they exIf they perience in scheming a "drop. which drops one-half are given pattern — that. the artist has the opportunity of working out a design which is apparently twice the width at his dis- posal. depth.36 The Anatomy of Pattern. 29. Instances of drop patterns in and others. more familiar with the forms of ornament than expert in practical Plates 17.

^Iate24.KollPlioto-LitTi . CF.


37 transpose the component triangles to produce the squat diamond.The " Drop " Pattern. on the slant. it is difficult to over-estimate the value of this expedient in design. in order that the design shall be practicable. Theoretically. in which dotted portions of the ground will ex- how the same pattern might be built on either one of three plans. you in either case at identically the may arrive result. the common property of designers for all manner of fabrics. But. —what put into one taken out of the other —but in the case of a pattern appearance goes a long way. From the practical point of view. same This the plain is plainly shown in Plate 25. it is all the same whether you design a drop on the lines of the square. You might snip . only apparent strip is in this is way is. it must other. or on the diamond. or it be an exact reverse of the would of The advantage gained course. it must be dis- symmetrically posed on either side of a central line : the one side of not work. but undreamt-of in the philosophy of the amateur.

you might produce the oblique shape which last would amount to the same thing as though you had cut off . to stretch a festoon. you have naturally no impulse to go beyond limits.J8 The A ndtomy of Pattern. across a width of space you did not see before fairly said. the direct result of working on the lines of the diamond : whilst you are its designing within the lines of the square. only two corners and transposed them. square . Your design must be influenced to a very considerable degree by the shape you set yourself to fill. or wreath. where not continuous. beyond the width of the material. that you. pieces from the four corners of the and make with them the diamond or if you dispose them differently. or half-way round. In designing for the material is tiles and such and the like. the conditions possibilities are soniewhat different. Where the unit of design can conveniently be turned round. the scope of the designer is increased — out of four . For all that. for instance. It would never occur to you. accordingly. So it may be is such extension of the design. it makes practically all the difference in the world which plan you adopt. or three-quarters of the way.



he can 39 get. . with a compara- tively limited set of tools. the bookbinder. . has very con- siderable scope in design lines but even then the he can work upon are always the same —although him more of them may be open to than to another.The '^ Drop" Pattern. So again. for ex- repeats of a six inch tile ample. a circular design 12 inches in diameter.

only in economise design is : and. SKELETON PLANS. Even though one may have no taking advantage of the it intention of full width of a block. stamping. painting. The lines. we should confine - embroidery. it is the same as though you had worked upon a . an absolute necessity of the But for economic reasons there would be no weaving. economy case." 21 inches long by \o\ wide. printing. mind you. designer finds venient to design at because their more cononce upon the diamond simplicity enables him it ordinarily better to keep in view the effect of his pattern in its repeated form than any other " lines (there are others) on which the drop can be worked. and make your pattern a •'drop. V. order to may still be found convenient to design if within the diamond.40 The Anatomy of Pattern. tapestry. If you begin by dividing the width of 21 inches into two. and other work of our own hands. and so on ourselves to .

Tiate 26. .


although. so that the block contains in the one and a half as a drop (to width. Variously diamonds would not repeat. if by 14 inches wide. Designing on the diamond such a pattern as the last-mentioned might very likely occur to said before. more Plate 19. 41 to point. as I same pattern would probably not have occurred to you in either case. and institute a series of stripes or panels of seven inches wide. Plate 26. on the lines of the dropped paralleloa gram. it is likely to result in a diagonal stripe more or less pro- nounced have . likely such one as B on you divide the width of 2 1 inches into three (A. of course. the design would hang . Plate 26) and On those lines set out a series of diamonds 21 inches long Again. which might. as diamond 21 inches from point may .. the one . each of which drops at the same interval (whatever it may be). equally designed been of the upon diagonal only also seen at B in Plate 26. If you still divide your 2 1 inches into three.Skeleton Plans. (D.) If three stripes one were as a dropped. this will its work only fall one-half depth) if the diamonds were filled all filled alike.

' occurred to you. revealing very likely a zigzag line on the principle already laid down.42 The Anatomy of Pattern.) Further explanation of the ways in which a given space said may be subdivided (what 21 inches is of the supposed applies equally to any given parallelogi-am) would be superfluous. The diagonal stripe pattern on Plate 27 it is resolves itself into a diamond repeat. however you start. The inevitable influence the lines upon which you start. but probably upon a network of diagonal and horizontal cross-lines —as did also the inventor on your design of is of Plate 20. the excuse. said to show how by such of scale subdivision the utmost variety may be you come back always to the same few schemes and although in any case your pattern might equally have been designed upon other lines. drop. Plate 26. but tolerably certain that the designer did not work upon the lines of that diamond. . working on those lines it never would have Although. and the only excuse. for puzzling over all the various skeletons upon which pattern can be . laid out. (C. Enough has been obtained.

n'l ate 27 _ionat rormoS upon "tbey C (.». of tS|« "J '\j^ ...


it have roughe. when you make the By that means you see it. The to practical designer.Skeleton Plans. as it were. But the best of all possible tests is to cut ever so rude a stencil of the design. without drawing much of the repeat. The accompanying diagram shows how re-arranges the quarters^ so that the parts of the diamond may be re-arranged. often cuts liberately. to finished drawing on another.d out on one plan. from two points of view. and what were the corners of the design come together and form the centre. A design the square he cuts into four equal parts. and so on. who has learnt not attach great value to the appearance of it his design as a drawing. can be taught to apply that test for you is infallible. It is 43 a good test of your design. and it . and can form a very fair idea as to how it repeats. A child . broad masses of the to multiply it so as roughly indefinitely. up deon and re-arranges the parts. in order the better to prove his repeat.

so that neither thread of idea is > too conspicuous. is eflfect of this is to in be seen in Plate a drop pattern. the attention diverted from the \ ' formal lines of the scroll by^ a conventional of much freer character overrun- Further. and to perceive the connecting lines between them. The really very simple patterns on Plates i. the birds emphasise the actual repeat of the block.44 The Anatomy of Pattern. The 29. Sometimes (as often in Arab art) they are so crossed and interlaced that it is difficult to follow their intricacy.. again. Or the lines may be interrupted so lose the thread of the design. just as the scroll . two be. and 28 are at first sight very puzzling. so to ' or more schemes of ornament may speak. that you Or. the one asserting itself here. features may be fails introduced of such is importance in the design that the eye drawn In to them. lines on which the pattern is- In fact. in any important work they are usually disguised. Whatever the lines of the skeleton. which growth ning it. Plate 30 the strongly marked bird- forms counteract to some extent the simple 1 ogee or diamond set the other there. interwoven.

.flaf6 28.


Plate 29.

iNKi-PHtTO, SPBAfU'E *f' lon;

Skeleton Plans.
reveals the unit of the ornamental repeat


out of the two contrasting schemes arises
a certain confusion, which




account in design.
Obviously, however, the most effective
of disguising the skeleton


to clothe


nature does; and the most natural

way of doing

with something in the nature of



beneath which the bare constructional





branches of a tree under their burden of leaf

and blossom.

(Plates 31, 32, &c.)

By this

means, you get at once
great, that


and variety so

one might continue


explanation until



and yet






the absolute simall

plicity" of

the skeleton forms underlying


The foliated scroll,


you see it, for example,
almost as though



Renaissance Arabesque (or

even in Plate

32), looks

were impossible of geometric construction.

And, of
built up.






But, for


falls into


familiar lines.


spiral itself

only a series

of segments of circles





bone. Pattern is a vertebrate thing is and in a scroll the spinal cord very decidedly scroll pronounced. its back-bone is a wave line or it Certainly you will find has a back. . repeated scroll-pattern. you will find most likely that spiral. is You can easily see when a broken-backed.46 The Anatomy of Pattern.

.?1ate ^0.


]3Ae3]. .


i^iik. J. w.te 32.»«».ajt »u.£.B .a.. .


nor can you well avoid a certain upright is tendency in patterns where the width much the restricted. turns out to be practically quite unamenable to existing conditions. cards. be . You out caniiot draw a bold.Appropriate Pattern. not. and what may lines. APPROPRIATE PATTERN. or whatever may very is. It is only by experience that a designer learns to know what may. The fact of the matter characteristic lines of time-honoured patterns are mainly the direct result of the restrictions under which the craftsman was facility working. geometric character of . be done within given Many a notion which one had a thought of adopting. It is owing to the peculiarly with which tri- angular cubes of that the tile can be manipulated. 47 VI. flowing scroll with- considerable allowance in the way it of length in the blocks.

figured on Plate 33. In the Renaissance silk. Naturally. though the Sicilians. and with one If that action. said. you may is double a sheet of paper. So also with tile the proportions of the square have resulted in a distinctly characteristic form of ornament. do not pretend to say whether the turning over of the design which prevails in early I silks. at all events. or ogee. and in all such reversible designs planned upon the diamond. adopted that it plan of design. pro- bably. the nineteenth century manufacturer has not been slow to adopt a plan so obviously economical. hexagon. was suggested by the but it fact that such turning over could be so. it. looks. in weavers generally. Oriental ornament is much us. reversed patterns were common it is long before paper was. due. because by means of they could at once double the scale of their pattern. and. as fact.48 The Anatomy of Pattern. readily done in weaving . Very possibly derived . until comparatively recent times. onehalf the labour of designing and card-cutting is saved. cut out the two sides of not so. that It has been the idea of reversing a pattern owes its origin to the circumstance that so. it well might be —except that.

C F Kell Pliolo-Lith .


.^1 ate 34.


which stripes of different colours are so accounted for in a similar way. You have but to look at the back of any old piece of many-coloured silk damask is to see the changes of the shuttle very plainly marked. is obviously due to the ease with shuttle. and. for example. Bands or common in in Eastern curtains. That in gave rise at all events to Boulle's . from the practice of folding or doubling. several sheets of veneer. The aim of the designer usually to E . Even dis- more elaborate of the silk and other designs. The variety of colour so obtained. the gold thread need only be used in the bands where the flowers or eyes actually occur. 49 One may put together. If in economy is thus often effected. blankets.Appropriate Pattern. or only the eyes of the flowers. because they can be so easily woven. fret all of facility them alike. or even several planks. &c. such a design' as that on Plate 34 the flowers were meant to appear in gold. characteristic inlay patterns and the balconies of Swiss chilets one effective is still sees a very kind of pierced pattern-work.. whiqh the weaver can change his At the same time. with one action of the saw. certain colours are very often tributed band-wise.

which was also likely to occur from the turning over. due to was not anyways injurious to the effect of a fabric meant to fall in folds. the plan suggested.^.) Designers would be the more ready to adopt. regardless of their shape. and the banded arrangement of the colour are veiy frequent.the more strongly marked verticality of the . had no fear of a horizontal In such a pattern as the Sicilian silk in Plate 20. by the it. indeed. in that the horizontal line. that the art of weaving was introduced into Italy.. whether Sicilian or (It Italian. The dim vertical loom. them more or less in his pattern. as to form quite marked features in the design of the eleventh and fol- lowing centuries.50 disguise The Anatomy of Pattern. line. and to adhere to. He would sometimes even carry bands of colour straight across the animals. you know. But in the early days of silk weaving the unso- phisticated artist line. was calculated to lose itself in . the effect of this rough-and- ready proceeding. And him. justifies in the silk itself. certainly In early examples of weaving both the turning over of the pattern. he would boldly make the various bands of animals in various colours. so much so. was from Sicily.

n^l8LTe35. .


decoration the horizontal band . although it works on the principle of the parallelogram actually was obviously arrived a series of waved zontal at by carrying across upright lines a broad hori- band of rosettes. decoration. Many an flat admirable textile pattern. me. The bold and damask pattern be lost if it beautiful effect of such a as that in Plate 35 would were rendered in flat decoration. . folds . Some persons appear to be of opinion that. by the way. especially without the charm of the texture That of the stuff: those waving lines and bands of big rosettes would be unendurable. other- wise in every way suitable. is inapplicable to silk. horizontal stripes always suggest the ample hanging. 5 and the horizontal band emphasised shuttle by the change of the In flat had an absolute is less value in marking the fulness of the hangings. and seem to want the folds. pattern. borrowed or stolen from good old stuffs you know them —are To —by their stripes altogether unsatis- factory on the wall. unobjectionable so and it is for that reason that many shall of the wall-paper patterns. whether in the shape of or chintz.Appropriate Pattern. or wall paper.

is excited. beiiig " something to be copied." design in therefore before. it. any. is not enough to copy . Johnson. The more difficult the conditions. consists a pattern. And and in if yet in the very variety of the efforts de- manded is a kind . according to Dr. will find on the whole. better worth while to say what it is in him to say for himself. the presence of difficulties our ingenuity. but that an artist gifted it. to-morrow under those. the A more they provoke soludesigner must have in him something . old tunes." : In adapting a design. how about I the meaning of the word design say would go beyond the lexicographer. copying what has been is done but ? That all very well so far as con- cerns the definition of the word pattern . from one material it to use in another. The most perplexing thing about modern design is that we are asked tcdesign. it needs to be translated is which trans- lation not so easy. we have tion. to-day under these conditions. and not go melodious on harping on the though they be. We have no traditions and no of us there relief of style. with any invention of his own. and not everypattern is an " exemplar.52 The A natomy of Pattern. old.

LIMITED. LONDON . designer.Appropriate Pattern. PRINTED BY WILLIAM CLOWES AND SONS. STAMFORD STKEET AND CHARING CROSS. . of 53 pugnacity . not at a design. he must enjoy attacking a tough problem. but A man proves himself a arrived when he has somehow inasmuch as out of unpro- mising material and untoward circumstances he can shape a thing of beauty.


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