The British Colour Council Dictionary of Colours for Interior Decoration

The British Colour Council Dictionary of Colours for Interior Decoration
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Robert F. Wilson & B. K. Battersby. Foreword by John P. Glass.

London. British Colour Council. 1949. First edition. Unnumbered copy from an edition of 7,500. 3 volumes, in red leather slipcase; 2 swatch volumes bound in red leather in a screw fastening binder, text volume bound in matching red buckram. 21 fold-out sheets of colour swatches in volumes 1 and 2; 30 pages of text in volume 3. 378 colours pictured in 1099 swatches. 285 x 225mm (11 x 8"). 3.5kg. . English. Very good; sample sheets sound with all swatches present, light signs of use; some light general rubbing to boards of swatch and text volumes, with light fading to spines, the front tab around the screw fastenings of volume 1 has broken but is neatly repaired; slipcase has split along top and bottom edges and the surfaces have wear and scuffing to leather.

A scarce colour sample book, with all samples present. These three volumes were produced by the British Colour Council with an intention to standardise colours across the interior decoration trade. A decorator could use their copy of the dictionary to specify to a manufacturer exactly which colour they wished to achieve. The books became an invaluable aid and, although over 7,000 copies were printed, few survive because they were used so extensively as working tools. Each of the 378 colours are shown on three surfaces - matt, gloss and pile fabric (carpet). There are 35 colours where no pile fabric sample is included because 'it was not considered advisable to dye that particular colour on pile fabric owing to the possibility of fading or discolouring in a comparatively short space of time'. Volume 3 includes a list of the colour names and their history.