Silk Designs of the Eighteenth Century



Silk Designs of the Eighteenth Century in the Collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum, London with a Complete Catalogue with 473 illustrations, 371 in color

By Natalie Rothstein

351 pages, 9 1/2″ × 14″

ISBN 9780821218129


The designs of eighteenth-century woven silk in England and France exemplified skills acquired over two millennia: in their range, quality and beauty, they have perhaps never been excelled. The Victoria and Albert Museum, London, contains by far the most important and extensive collection of English silk designs in the world, some bound as they were originally, others loose, and still more as samples of fabric in pattern books. The designs changed with the season and, through these pages, we can see fashion evolving from the extravagances of the ‘bizarre’ silks of the early eighteenth century, through the ‘lace’ patterns and three-dimensional effects of the 1720s and 1730s, to the Rococo of the 1740s, the stylization of the 1750s and 1760s and, finally, to the Neo-Classicism of the 1770s and later. The diversity in motif and pattern is astonishing, and subtleties of texture contrast with colours as brilliant and fresh as they were two centuries ago.

Here, in more than 250 magnificent colour illustrations, is a treasure house of inspiration for today’s designers, a captivating record for students of costume and textiles, and a delight for anyone who loves things of beauty.

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SKU: 1773 Category: