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Silk textile sample swatch book

1777-1786
Origin: England, Spitalfields
13 7/8" W X 22 1/2" H X 2 1/2" D
Paper, silks, metallic threads, leather, ink
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 1974-47
Merchant's sample book containing over 1500 swatches of silk textiles glued to rag paper pages. The textiles include satins, damasks, flush effects, brocaded silks, and taffetas, many in small spotted patterns and stripes and in a variety of unfaded colors. Many of the pages are dated, beginning in 1777 and continuing through 1786.The first page of the book is labelled in handwritten ink: "1777/ J & J Jourdain. Spital Sqre". The original pages are rebound in a brown leather and cloth binding labelled "Warner/ & Sons/ Ltd./ Patterns/ Woven/ Silks/ Circa/ 1780." The end papers are blue, pale orange, and cream marbelized paper. A printed label on the inside front cover reads: "Great Care/ From Warner & Sons/ Silk and Velvet Manufacturers and Upholsterers' Warehousemen/ 9, Newgate Street, London, E. C./ 1, Warwick Lane, E. C., & East London Silk Mills, E." The book is enclosed in an outer box.

About 666 of the swatches date in the year 1777; about 282 in 1778; 554 in 1779, and three wide stripes (inserted at the very back and labelled for the North Africa trade) date 1786.
Label:This remarkable swatch book--labelled with the years a pattern was first produced--illustrates the range of designs available during the period from 1777 to 1786. The textiles were primarily intended for women's gowns and men's waistcoats. The colors have been protected from light exposure and retain their original vibrancy. The book was originally the working sample book of the J. & J. Jourdain silk company of Spitalfields, near London. It was later acquired and rebound by Warner Silks of London.
Provenance:J. & J. Jourdain of Spitalfields, London, England
Warner & Sons Silk and Velvet Manufacturers, London