Digital Trade Catalogues at the HHT
A collection of electronic resources selected from the trade catalogue collection of the Caroline Simpson Library & Research Collection. The collection includes trade literature related to house and garden design and interior furnishing, with a particular focus on Australia in the nineteenth century and comprising publications from manufacturers and merchants in Australia, England, Scotland, the United States, France, Germany, Italy and Spain. This selection of electronic resources covers a range of building materials as well as house fittings and furnishings.

These resources, and more, can also be accessed through the electronic record display link attached to relevant items in the library catalogue.
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Furniture
Furniture
Set of watercolour designs for window drapery, portieres and furniture / by Frederick Leist
Frederick Leist (1873-1945) was an Australian artist and illustrator. Early in his career he trained as a furniture designer under the guidance of Fra more...
Frederick Leist (1873-1945) was an Australian artist and illustrator. Early in his career he trained as a furniture designer under the guidance of Francis Dickin and was employed by department store and furniture manufacturer, David Jones & Co. A collection of Leist's designs for drapery and furniture were found inserted into a David Jones & Co catalogue, c1895. Only three of the designs were reproduced in the David Jones catalogue though others may have appeared in alternate forms of advertising.

Leist was one of a small army of commercial artists working between the late 19th and mid 20th century who earned a living illustrating mail order catalogues, advertising and other display ephemera for department stores and large retailers in Australia. Of the 17 designs in this portfolio, 12 are signed 'F Leist', three are worked in black ink while the remainder are in watercolour and pencil. Although two of the designs depict furniture, the others show window, door or bed drapery.

The drapery in the Leist designs - elaborately looped and pleated or loosely hanging in festoons and folds - was a stylish choice for middle class homes of the 1880s and 90s. The English journal, Furniture & Decoration, which regularly illustrated similar designs, stated in May 1892 that ?recent fashionable tendencies have encouraged the employment of much more drapery in our houses than was deemed desirable, or even permissible, a few years ago.? Drapery was everywhere, particularly in contrast to the immediate previous period when it was more restrained, and now it often came adorned with features of the Aesthetic movement like fans and palm fronds. Lambrequins had also been more fashionable a decade earlier but were mostly removed from window treatments in favour of curtain poles which could be more easily employed to raise or throw drapery, while the use of asymmetrical or 'irregular' styles, as they were called by Frank Moreland in his influential Practical decorative upholstery (1890), also became more popular. The tendency was for the window treatment and portiere to comprise 'dress curtains' that were not designed to be pulled across a window. Lace curtains, used as a second or under-layer of drapery, often served this purpose, adding a degree of privacy. The drapery chosen often depended on which room was to be decorated - most elaborate drapery was often reserved for parlours or drawing rooms, while for bedrooms, according to N W Jacobs in his Practical handbook on cutting draperies (1890), ?the decoration and drapery should be light and airy.?

The newly fashionable styles of the 1880s and 90s were often described as French, but seven of the Leist designs for drapery are known to have been copied from a German source: A. & L. Streitenfeld's Die praxis des tapezieres und decorateurs, published in Berlin around 1888. The Leist designs came from the first two folios of a three volume set, each of 24 loose chromolithographic plates. English language versions of some of Streitenfelds' designs were also available - one example published in New York by the same German publisher, Hessling & Spielmeyer was The practical decorator (c1892) which was issued with 20 plates. The Streitenfeld source books may have been owned by Leist himself but it seems more likely that the volumes were part of the professional or trade library of either David Jones or a senior member of staff such as the head of the art furnishings department. [Michael Lech, September 2011]

Hardware
Hardware
James Cartland & Son general brass foundry, patentees & manufacturers 1886
When James Cartland & Son issued its mammoth 682 page catalogue in 1886, it was one of the largest brass founders in the world. Cartland was in t more...
When James Cartland & Son issued its mammoth 682 page catalogue in 1886, it was one of the largest brass founders in the world. Cartland was in the brass business as early in 1823, trading in partnership as Dyer and Cartland. In 1833 the partnership was dissolved and James Cartland then operated under his own name; his son John and other descendents joined the firm later and continued the business until it closed around 1955. For most of the time the company's base was on Constitution Hill in Birmingham, England. By the 1880s, John Cartland & Son had upwards of 500 employees and was advertising as 'Cabinet, builders' and naval brass founders', one of the many branches of the brass manufacturing industry. The versatility of brass (an alloy of copper and zinc) together with its decreasing cost during the 19th century, led to its use for a huge number of applications from musical instruments to lighting and precision scientific instruments. In 1865, Birmingham, the brass capital of the world, was home to 216 brass manufacturers from all branches of the trade. James Cartland & Son used brass to create all manner of effects - according to an 1888 article, "the brass is stamped, perforated and engraved in appropriate combinations of bronzing, gilding and oxidizing". In addition, this catalogue includes a range of goods in other materials including timber, glass and ceramic (china), the later material used from the 1840s in combination with brass for door, window and other fashionable cabinet hardware. The firm was also well-known for production of a number of registered and patented goods, some of which are listed on the title page of the catalogue, such as: Andrews, Peacock's & Pugh's patent lock furniture, Beanland's patent quadrants, Thorpe's ventilating sash fasteners, etc. By the later part of the 19th century, James Cartland & Son were regularly entering and winning awards at international exhibitions. Gold medals were won at Australian exhibitions including in Melbourne (1880/81 and 1888/89) and Adelaide (1887). Although cabinet brass was the central exhibit, the company did prepare candlesticks and inkstands in 'Jubilee and Kangaroo' patterns, specially designed for the Adelaide exhibition. In addition to exhibitions, Cartland's presence in Australia was increasing in this period: Sydney ironmongery retailer, WS Friend, illustrated in its 1886 catalogue of English hardware, 'Cartland's registered rack pulleys' and 'Cartland's registered venetian blind holder and tassel hooks'; and 'Cartland's patent double action door springs' were also of sufficient worth to be listed in The Australian builders' (and contractors') price book for 1891. A brass eagle lectern, manufactured by James Cartland & Son, was presented to St John's Church in the Sydney suburb of Ashfield in memory of Mr J M Sandy. Because of the quality and reputation of Cartland's work, it is perhaps no surprise that this 1886 catalogue was one of a number that formed part of the trade library of Sydney art metal workers, James Castle & Sons (a collection now held by the Caroline Simpson Library & Research Collection at the Historic Houses Trust). Based in King Street Newtown, Castle & Sons were established in 1889 and worked in brass, copper, bronze and iron. At the Sydney Arts and Crafts Exhibition of 1892, the company displayed items for ecclesiastical purposes such as lecterns and crosses but also according to the Australasian Builder & Contractors' News: "gas standards, brackets and pendants, hanging lamps and candelabra, all of wrought brass in original and good designs, clocks, door handles and finger-plates, lettering and other articles in the same material." In later years, memorial tablets provided lucrative business. Castle & Sons regularly worked with the best Sydney architects of the day - in the late 19th and early 20th centuries this included John Burcham Clamp, Sulman & Power and Robertson & Marks. The company was finally wound up in 1966. [Michael Lech, September 2011]
Terracotta
Terracotta
Domestic architecture. Terra cotta / manufactured by John Marriott Blashfield
The collection of catalogues produced by John Marriott Blashfield between 1868 and 1870 represent a high-point in that manufacturer's production of a more...
The collection of catalogues produced by John Marriott Blashfield between 1868 and 1870 represent a high-point in that manufacturer's production of architectural terracotta and garden ornament. By 1870 Blashfield's range exceeded 1400 separate pieces and he had supplied ornament for numerous prestigious commissions including for Buckingham Palace, the Royal Mausoleum at Windsor and over 5000 pounds worth of goods for Castle Ashby Northamptonshire.

John Marriott Blashfield (1811-1882) spent most of his life building, modeling and manufacturing. During the late 1830s and 1840s some of his ventures included working with Herbert Minton to create mosaic pavements, publishing two books of tile designs by Owen Jones, becoming a building developer on London's prestigious Kensington Palace Gardens, working as a partner of Wyatt Parker & Co, manufacturers of ornament in plaster, mastic, scagliola and cement, and even manufacturing patent artificial manure.

Blashfield's association with terracotta extends back to 1839 when he employed James Bubb, a former Coade stone modeler, to experiment with production techniques. However, he did not return to terracotta until 1851 after being inspired by Mark Blanchard's prize-winning pieces on a visit to London's Great Exhibition. From this time Blashfield enthusiastically embraced the production of terracotta and by 1853 had produced a 9-foot tall statue, 'Australia', for the Crystal Palace gardens in London - the English journal, Builder, claimed it was "probably the largest piece of pottery ever fired in an entire piece." Blashfield's production continued to develop - he obtained Letters Patent in 1854 for 'Improvements in the Manufacture of China, Pottery, Bricks', again in 1860 for 'Improvements in burning pottery and china ware' and in 1866 he even designed and patented a new type of pottery kiln. As early as 1856 The Art Journal stated that Blashfield "has carried this art [terracotta] beyond his competitors." He won medals for Terra Cotta, in the glass and pottery and architectural objects classes at the London International Exhibition in 1862 and a silver medal at the Paris International Exhibition of 1867.

Blashfield's initial manufactory in Millwall, Isle of Dogs, was the former home of Wyatt, Parker & Co, which he had purchased in 1846. From there he produced not only terracotta (from 1851) but cement and plaster goods - in 1858 Sydney-merchant W W Buckland advertised the sale of 'Patent Plaster of Paris, and Portland and Roman cements'. A plaster bust of New South Wales politician John Blaxland (1769-1845), currently held in the collection of the Art Gallery of NSW, was produced by Blashfield. In fact, a number of the moulds and designs used for plaster and cement architectural and ornamental work were redeployed by Blashfield for terracotta. Blashfield himself described many of these designs as being copies of 'ancient' works while others were modern.

In 1859, Blashfield moved his works to Stamford, Lincolnshire to be nearer the clay-beds after which the company concentrated wholly on the production on terracotta. After more than a decade of success, Blashfield was declared bankrupt in 1872. The firm was, however, re-established as a limited liability company and renamed The Stamford Terra-cotta Company (Blashfield's) Limited though Blashfield continued as superintendent of the works. Finally in 1875, the firm went into liquidation unable to compete with cheaper terracotta that required less preparation time to produce. [Michael Lech, September 2011]

The collection of catalogues produced by John Marriott Blashfield between 1868 and 1870 represent a high-point in that manufacturer's production of architectural terracotta and garden ornament. By 1870 Blashfield's range exceeded 1400 separate pieces and he had supplied ornament for numerous prestigious commissions including for Buckingham Palace, the Royal Mausoleum at Windsor and over 5000 pounds worth of goods for Castle Ashby Northamptonshire.

John Marriott Blashfield (1811-1882) spent most of his life building, modeling and manufacturing. During the late 1830s and 1840s some of his ventures included working with Herbert Minton to create mosaic pavements, publishing two books of tile designs by Owen Jones, becoming a building developer on London's prestigious Kensington Palace Gardens, working as a partner of Wyatt Parker & Co, manufacturers of ornament in plaster, mastic, scagliola and cement, and even manufacturing patent artificial manure.

Blashfield's association with terracotta extends back to 1839 when he employed James Bubb, a former Coade stone modeler, to experiment with production techniques. However, he did not return to terracotta until 1851 after being inspired by Mark Blanchard's prize-winning pieces on a visit to London's Great Exhibition. From this time Blashfield enthusiastically embraced the production of terracotta and by 1853 had produced a 9-foot tall statue, 'Australia', for the Crystal Palace gardens in London - the English journal, Builder, claimed it was "probably the largest piece of pottery ever fired in an entire piece." Blashfield's production continued to develop - he obtained Letters Patent in 1854 for 'Improvements in the Manufacture of China, Pottery, Bricks', again in 1860 for 'Improvements in burning pottery and china ware' and in 1866 he even designed and patented a new type of pottery kiln. As early as 1856 The Art Journal stated that Blashfield "has carried this art [terracotta] beyond his competitors." He won medals for Terra Cotta, in the glass and pottery and architectural objects classes at the London International Exhibition in 1862 and a silver medal at the Paris International Exhibition of 1867.

Blashfield's initial manufactory in Millwall, Isle of Dogs, was the former home of Wyatt, Parker & Co, which he had purchased in 1846. From there he produced not only terracotta (from 1851) but cement and plaster goods - in 1858 Sydney-merchant W W Buckland advertised the sale of 'Patent Plaster of Paris, and Portland and Roman cements'. A plaster bust of New South Wales politician John Blaxland (1769-1845), currently held in the collection of the Art Gallery of NSW, was produced by Blashfield. In fact, a number of the moulds and designs used for plaster and cement architectural and ornamental work were redeployed by Blashfield for terracotta. Blashfield himself described many of these designs as being copies of 'ancient' works while others were modern.

In 1859, Blashfield moved his works to Stamford, Lincolnshire to be nearer the clay-beds after which the company concentrated wholly on the production on terracotta. After more than a decade of success, Blashfield was declared bankrupt in 1872. The firm was, however, re-established as a limited liability company and renamed The Stamford Terra-cotta Company (Blashfield's) Limited though Blashfield continued as superintendent of the works. Finally in 1875, the firm went into liquidation unable to compete with cheaper terracotta that required less preparation time to produce. [Michael Lech, September 2011]

Wallpaper
Wallpaper
Embossed flock papers / manufactured by Wm. Woollams & Co., 110 High St. near Manchester Square W. London
Wm Woollams & Co. was an English wallpaper manufacturer famous for its hand made and flock papers. The company was begun by William Woollams as early more...
Wm Woollams & Co. was an English wallpaper manufacturer famous for its hand made and flock papers. The company was begun by William Woollams as early as 1807 and remained in family hands until being wound up in 1900. By the second half of the 19th century, Wm Woollams & Co often won plaudits for its designs and had become noted as an innovator in the production of new types of wall coverings including stamped gold papers, embossed leather papers, and a moulded or embossed flock wallpaper. Prior to 1890, the firm had won 18 medals at international exhibitions, fairs and expositions around the world, including the Sydney International Exhibition of 1879/80 and the Melbourne International Exhibition of 1880/81.

The wallpapers from this sample book were almost certainly displayed at the Sydney International Exhibition. The official report described Wm Woollams & Co's exhibit of 'flock papers, plain and embossed, embossed leather papers, etc' as 'elegant in design and nicely finished'. This boxed sample book comprises just 11 samples, each individually mounted on cardboard, the reverse of which (on most samples) includes a pattern number, price per yard, manufacturer trade mark (a bale of wool branded W and two lambs suspended) and address, while similar details are also hand written in French. Eight of the samples are embossed flock and three are a different type of embossed wall covering, one in imitation of leather and two with a plain white finish.

The embossed flock decorations were patented by Wm Woollams & Co in 1877. Instead of being designed like traditional flock to imitate cut velvet hangings commonly used in houses of the wealthy, embossed flock was moulded under pressure with a heated die to produce a vast range of designs. In the English Art Journal for 1883, G.T. Robinson wrote that "Messrs W. Woollams supply a very ingenious embossed flock of considerable relief and great richness, simulating, indeed, modelled plasterwork in its surface, and capable of almost infinite variety in its colour treatment." During this period, flock wallpapers were generally recommended for dining rooms and libraries. Flock remained popular in well-to-do homes until the late 19th century when its tendency to collect dust and retain odours, such as from food, caused a backlash at a time when health and cleanliness in the home became a priority.

The other embossed wall coverings, including the one in imitation of leather, represent a fashion towards the use of relief wall coverings in English and Australian interiors in the last quarter of the 19th century. The hand written descriptions in French to the reverse of these samples describes them as being Coriacène. This description was most likely added some time after this sample book was issued as the brand name Coriacène was not in use until the late 1880s. These wall coverings had no brand name during the 1870s, but by the mid 1880s, Wm Woollams & Co was using the brand name Tergorine for its embossed artificial leather wall coverings. By 1890, the English Building news & engineering journal described Coriacène as a "richly-modelled imitation of embossed leather, to which the raised parts are hardened" many are lacquered a rich brown, well suited for dados." [Michael Lech, September 2011]