Authenticated Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland, Painted by Machinery: With Map of the Highlands Showing the Territories of the Clans, Introductory Essay on the 'Scottish Gael' by a Member of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland

Authenticated Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland, Painted by Machinery: With Map of the Highlands Showing the Territories of the Clans, Introductory Essay on the 'Scottish Gael' by a Member of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland

William Smith; Andrew Smith

Mauchline, Ayrshire : W. and A. Smith, 1850


[Rare textile sample book of the Clan Tartan's of Scotland]  First edition.  Quarto.  Bound in contemporary 3/4 morocco over black boards.  Gilt ruled and decorated spine.  Some edge wear, rubbing to leather. All edges gilt. Includes 69 mounted color Scottish tartans.  Engraved color map of the Highlands.  Provenance: William Drysdale stamped on front board.  John H. Peet's bookplate on front paste down.  

In the mid-1850s Highland tartans experienced a popular resurgence.  The colors and dress of the Highland clans had been suppressed by the Dress Act of 1746 (repealed 1782).  Changing dress habits and the Highland clearances contributed to the decline of the tradition tartan.   The advent of Victorian-era manufacturing and industrial dyes made the production of tartans cheaper and more accessible.  Scottish historical romanticism, spurred by the work of Sir Walter Scott, James Macpherson, and George IV's patronage helped to create a market for tartans.  Queen Victoria and Prince Albert's visits to Balmoral and extensive use of tartan further encouraged this fad.  This book was produced during the height of the Victorian tartan craze.  Smith's were able to create the plates in this seminal publication using their Apograph, a machine with many pens filled with water colour and moved by a system of cogs and ratchets to draw the intricate lines necessary to create the subtleties of tartan. This machine was primarily used to create the tartanned papers that were adhered to sycamore carcasses to create Tartan Ware. The joins in the paper on the objects were cunningly disguised with gilt tooling.

  • Product Code: 2003100087
  • Availability: In Stock
  • $750.00
  • Ex Tax: $750.00

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Tags: First Edition, Art, Scottish History