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My latest find…

from Lyon, silk capital of France…

c. 1898 sample book of dyed silk swatches

Over sized scrapbook of 10 fold out pages..

Hundreds of shiny silk swatches…

the “hot color trends” of the late 19th century

Lovely script color descriptions…

some obscure…Clematite, Paquerette, Golconde, Ecorce…

can anyone translate?!

Others like mais and ceil, clearly “corn” and “sky”

Colors from violet and purple, mauve, cerise, and candy pink…

to “marrons”…chestnuts, wheats, browns, creams…

Unfortunately, cellophane tape was invented in 1920, and someone

industriously attempted to keep every swatch in place with this un-archival horror.

I’m carefully removing it from the silk, letting it stay on numbers above where

pulling it off would remove the print. Carefully trying to smooth the errant

strands of some swatches with a small paintbrush.

I’ve done several posts on sample books including “Antique Fabric, Sample Books” here

that show a very similar book from Caron Baudoin c. 1893

Evidently “Cyrano de Bergerac” was big in the fall of 1898…

Continuing on with my fascination of sample books, love imagining the footsteps

from samples to final products, as well as fleshing out the colors of the time…