What is this?
First book (dedicated to Lord Middlesex): title page and six plates, dated 1741, of rocaille cartouches; second book (dedicated to the Earl of Holderness): title page and five rocaille motifs, dated 1742; third book (dedicated to the Duke of Rutland): title page and six plates of cartouches, dated 1743; fifth book; title page and fourteen plates (one bound upside down) of furniture, dated 1743; sixth and seventh books: title pages (half-size) and fourteen plates of cartouches, undated; eighth book: title page and six plates of jewelery, dated 1747.
Why is this important?
This dedication page belongs to one of the earliest pattern books in the Rococo style to be printed in Britain. Ornament prints were crucial to British manufacturers competing with the French luxury goods industry. Between 1720 and 1740, mercantilist protection of British markets prompted an increase in the production of English ornament prints. Design books could instruct craftsmen on the latest fashions, in lieu of a formal design education, as well as publicize a designer’s abilities.
This object has been included in the following exhibitions: