Title Salesman's Sampler Album for Chromolithographic Transferware Decals
Binding Hardcover. Cloth spine. Patterned paper pasted
Book Condition Very Good
Seller ID 005645
N.d., circa 1900. Folio, 42 by 29.5 cm. 108 leaves, nine of which are folding, containing hundreds of samples of ceramic transferware. The decals include flowers and bouquets, fruits, picturesque views (buildings, panoramas, bucolic settings, harbors, etc.), Chinoiserie imagery, human studies (lovely young maidens, seraphs, children, animals (birds and horses), ornaments (Rococo, geometric, Art Nouveau). These various categories are mostly grouped separately, notwithstanding the frequent overlap (animal studies will have a floral element, the views might be framed with ornament, etc.) The final section shows various decals on a brown or black background which heightens the visual impact of the decals. These decals are generally the more elaborate and/or more spectacular ones, and in this section, there is no particular subject category order as far as we can discern. Many of these, perhaps two-thirds, are identical in terms of their imagery, to chromolithographic die-cuts of the period, except here the samples are not die-cuts but rather impressed onto the sheets. The rest are transfer images that one might also see on furniture but are definitively not of a more general decorative usability -- they are not what one might find on greeting or trade cards of the period. The decals are of varying size, and the pages range from a single decal to up to 13, with the majority of pages having one or two and but for a small number of pages, there are four or less per page. Each of the decals is accompanied by a printed stamp with a stock number (which is inked). From this we know the source of the album was a German company, probably one based in Bavaria, which was known for its high level of chromolithography, but we can't unfortunately identify the specific enterprise. Lifting of the surface to some of the decals, with loss to the imagery of those decals affected as part of the color is transferred to the tissue guard. This affects only a small percentage of the decals, and never is there a complete loss, but rather, merely a flattening of the color in these images. Some of the tissue guards are sticking to the underlying leaves, or there is a general stickiness to guards, thus resulting in the aforementioned instances of lifting. One page has a small cut-out, which we assume was done to remove a single decal. Some paper loss to the cover pastedown. Overall, this remains an exciting, extraordinary collection of transferware ornament and decoration from around 1900.