Many beautiful designs attractively rendered in watercolors, with a mix of floral designs, Chinoiserie, and a sparer Modernist sensibility. N.d., circa 1940s. Small folio, 32.5 by 28 cm. 64 leaves with content, 25 of which feature the watercolors, the balance of 39 having one or two mounted photos each. Tissue guards in front of most of the watercolors and many of the other leaves. We do not know who the artist or designer was, or what company is being represented, but it is our strong belief that this was a collection of designs created for one company, and the album was a working salesman sample catalogue, with specifications for lamps and lampshades sometimes written in long-hand, with varying degrees of detail. While the emphasis is clearly on the lampshades, the company was clearly also selling lamps, or the vases beneath the lampshades, as can be inferred by handwritten captions which say "avec Pagoda", and the like. What is more, the lampshade designs are often repeated, or coordinated, with the vases, and thus the two are meant to be of one piece. Our dating is based on the album itself, meaning the binding, and then what we can intuit from the aesthetic. There can no question that the album is mid-20th century. We believe that it is unlikely to be from the thirties or earlier, as there are really no fringed lampshades which were so common then, and the shapes are such as were fashionable during the post-war era, well into the 1970s. As there are a considerably greater number of photos than watercolors, these both show the watercolored designs as realized and variants on these designs, with some additional designs not really represented in the watercolors. The watercolors are unquestionably the highlights, all done with a loose dreaminess that is as or more exciting than their physical actualization. These watercolors somehow cast a diaphonous spell, virtually dissolving and re-appearing before one's eyes. The photos, though, provide a rather more thorough record of this company's designs and range. Condition: moderate wear. Scribbles and a few stains as incident to this being a working document.