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Decalcomania sample book.

Additional Title(s):


Great Britain, circa 1870.
Physical Description:
2 v. : ill. ; 33 cm.
Rare Books and Manuscripts
TT921.5 .D43 1870+ Oversize
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
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Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Archives & Manuscripts
Decalcomania is the technique of transferring designs (such as engravings or prints) from specially prepared paper onto a surface, such as ceramics or glass. The process enjoyed its greatest vogue in the late 19th century. An advertisement in the The Belfast News-Letter of 7 February 1863, by George Mason's Berlin Wool and Trimming Warehouse, describes it in this manner: "Decalcomania is the art of of ornamenting, instantaneously, furniture, wood, wax-lights, silks, linen, calico, china, and every description of plaster of Paris, porcelain, alabaster, ivory, paper, paper hangings, tea trays, oilcloth, and all kinds of fancy goods of ceramic substances, by means of designs on paper, and varnishes expressly prepared."
Of green leaf, bird, and flower: artists' books and the natural world, p. 51
Sample book of decorative decalcomania designs printed in chromolithography, produced by an unidentified manufacturer, circa 1870. The samples are now housed in two volumes. The first is bound in contemporary quarter calf and marbled boards and is titled in gilt on the spine: Decalomania. It contains 30 leaves of designs, printed on rectos only (with one exception). A set of 15 loose cut-out designs are removed to a second volume.
The samples contain hundreds of designs of popular Victorian imagery, including flowers of all varieties and sizes, grasses, birds, shells, and decorative lettering (for holidays and special occasions), all highly colored. There are stock labels and numbers for each design. Some pages have deleted varieties cut out. The album is now interleaved with tissue guards, but there is a slight loss to the surface of some examples through adhesion.
Subject Terms:
Decalcomania -- Great Britain -- Specimens.
Decoration and ornament -- Great Britain -- Catalogs.
Decorative arts -- Great Britain.
Great Britain -- Social life and customs.
Pottery -- Decoration and ornament -- Great Britain.
Decalcomania paper.
Sample books.
Trade catalogs.
IIIF Manifest:

"Of Green Leaf, Bird, and Flower" : Artists' Books and the Natural World (Yale Center for British Art, May 15, 2014-August 10, 2014) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

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