Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Harmonious Coloring-

We have a very interesting book about Victorian color theory in interior decorating in our new Catalog 184-

"The Interior Decorator, being the Laws of Harmonious Coloring adapted to Interior Decorations. With Observations on the Practice of House Painting" by D[avid] R[amsay] Hay, published in Philadelphia by Henry Carey Baird in 1867. First American, from the 6th London, edition.

David Ramsay Hay was one of the most influential color theorists of the Victorian era, and was a practical craftsman as well, attaining the status of Decorator to the Queen. This title was first published in 1828, and completely re-written for the 6th edition. The text is divided into two parts, the first treating the theory and laws of colors, the second addressing decorating issues more practically.

The second section begins by describing plain painting materials and types of colors and paints, and then moves on to decorative painting, including imitating woods and marbles, gilding, paper-hanging, stippling, decorative borders, imitation damasks, gold embroidery and leather. There is additional material on the analogies between sound and color, “cheap” painting, and “Reminiscences of the painting and decorating of Abbotsford”. This last refers to one of Hay’s most famous commissions, the redecorating of fellow-Mason Sir Walter Scott’s manor.

An influential and increasingly uncommon treatise on Victorian-era interior painting and decorating, and one of a very few Baird books to have a color illustration.

Hardcover. 5”x7.5”, 207 pages, colored frontispiece; publisher’s black cloth with gilt spine title; a little wear, but a very nice, clean, tight copy. [09461] $300.00

To see all the books in Catalog 284, click here.

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