Art of Decorative Design

The Art of Decorative Design was the first book to describe how ornamental designs could actually be invented by utilizing scientific principles. Published in 1862, it was a startling book which borrowed almost nothing from traditional design. In it Dresser suggests deriving decorative motifs from sources as varied as the mysterious patterns produced when a square brass plate, covered with light sand, is stroked with a violin bow; from the eddies produced by resting a teaspoon on the surface of a cup of tea; and from the lengths of strings needed to play 'God Save the Queen'. As much as any other book, The Art of Decorative Design established Dresser as one of the most innovative designers of ornamentation of the 1800's.

This is a sampling from 91 of the designs in the book.

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