THE ART OF DECORATIVE DESIGN
DRESSER, Christopher. THE ART OF DECORATIVE DESIGN.
London: Day and Son, 1862. 8vo. Publisher's gilt stamped red cloth. xi, (i), 241, 28 plates. First edition.
This is the first and only edition of this highly significant book. Dresser (1834-1904) had been educated as a botanist, but became what we would call today an industrial designer. He was very successful and created designs for many manufacturers. Stuart Durant writes that "at a time when an endless supply of decorative motifs were called for, there was a pressing need for a work which demonstrated how ornament could be originated. Dresser exhibits the greatest ingenuity in suggesting sources of inspirations--sound patterns, drawing games, sections through the stems of plants, cellular structures, etc. A very early example of the scientific, as opposed to historicist, approach to the design of ornament." This book is especially notable for its colored plates; there are fourteen chromolithographs and other plates in black and white. Early owner's ink inscription on title leaf; edges of title page worn. Rebacked with remains of original spine laid down; boards rubbed, still a good copy.