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Swatch or Sample Book of Printed Textiles

1783
Origin: England, Manchester
6 X 9 7/8" closed Open: 93 inches long
Paperboard, leather, cotton, linen
Bequest of Grace Hartshorn Westerfield
Acc. No. 1974-569
Swatch book, roll-folded from ends to center, containing 430 swatches on 16 pages of small-scale geometric printed cottons, twill-woven cottons, tabby-woven cottons, and corded weave cottons with napped and plain finishes. Many of the swatches have linen warps. Brown leather-bound book is inscribed in ink, "Thomas Smith, Manchester, 23 August 1783". Two swatches missing.
Label:This folding swatch book, which can be unrolled to a full length of almost eight feet wide, contains 430 small cuttings of cotton and cotton-linen goods printed and sold by manufacturer Thomas Smith of Manchester, England. Customers could select specific colors and patterns for their tailors or seamstresses to fashion into clothing. The lightweight textiles were used for women's gowns; the heavier napped velvets and corduroys were for men's suits and breeches. Smith's firm went bankrupt in 1788.
Provenance:Thomas smith was a calico printer from Manchester. He went bankrupt in 1788. (See London Gazette, 1 April, 1788.) Research done on the firm by Mrs. Jason Westerfield.
Inscription(s):
Thomas Smith, Manchester, 23 August 1783