Terrific Textiles: Tasteful Turbans

Written by Jessica Masinter. She is an intern in the Cooper Hewitt Library and a literary studies major at Middlebury College. This follow up blog to “The Textile Thief and the Great British Manufacturers,” focuses on Watson’s samples of turban pieces and their significance in India in the mid-1800s. When J. Forbes Watson was collecting samples for his collection Textile Manufactures of India, turbans were worn almost universally throughout India. In Watson’s more »

The Textile Thief and the Great British Manufacturers

Written by Jessica Masinter. She is a summer intern in the Cooper Hewitt Library and a literary studies major at Middlebury College. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Indian textiles were the height of quality. Their exotic patterns, brilliant colors and dye fastness drove customer appeal among the English bourgeoisie to the point where India was considered by some to be the industrial workshop of the world. British textile manufacturers desperately tried more »

This is Why You Should Never Judge a Book by its Cover

In my work as a rare materials cataloger, some very remarkable books cross my desk. And although I've learned that even the most plain-looking books can hold surprises, I was taken completely unaware by this unassuming, even drab, volume with its crumbling leather spine and torn paper label on the front cover. Hmm, what does the label say? 'Sales Book', maybe? So it's probably an old account book full of crabbed handwriting and calculations, but surely it has something of interest for a researcher, or it wouldn't have wound up here. Let's see what it is. Here is the front cover of fNK8805.P38 1912 CHMRB: Carefully, I open the volume, trying not to make the binding crumble even further. Oh my!!  THIS IS AMAZING!!!  You've GOT to SEE THIS!!  WOW!!!   The other catalogers, alerted by my gasps, crowd around to admire the contents. The book is filled with amazing swatches of colorful silk fabrics; see below for some examples. So, what on earth is this lovely book?! Recently acquired by more »

Follow Us

Latest Tweets

Categories

Archives