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When this book was originally published in 1867 as Examples of Chinese Ornament, only 300 copies of the first edition were printed. It was compiled and written by Owen Jones, whose great work The Grammar of Ornament had been published 11 years earlier, and original copies are now sought after by antiquarian booksellers throughout the world.
The plates include painted vases, bowls and other Chinese ornaments which were imported to the West in increasing numbers in the middle of the nineteenth century. The principle of Chinese ornament derives from the Moorish design where the surface of an object is divided into triangles with spots of colour joined in a continuous line. Smaller decorative devices are then introduced into the spaces created by this basic pattern, until the whole surface is decorated. The Chinese often used large flowers as the focal point, with smaller blooms added in a less rigid manner which still maintained the triangular pattern. Triangulation is the main feature in all Chinese ornamentation, with a definite and undisguised geometrical arrangement. In this respect, the oriental style is very similar to the basic propositions put forward by Jones in his Grammar of Ornament.
This significant sourcebook for all designers and artists, with its meticulous representation of the original colours, is a delight to the eye as well as a welcome addition to the library of anyone interested in the fine arts.