A History of Ornament: Ancient and Medieval

A History of Ornament: Ancient and Medieval

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A History of Ornament: Ancient and Medieval

A History of Ornament: Ancient and Medieval

Read FREE!

Excerpt

Books on ornament are so many that to add to their number may seem at first sight a wholly superfluous task. Yet in all the long lists of the bibliographies of the subject there appears a singular lack of systematic treatises on the history of the various styles which have marked the growth and progress of decorative art. Elaborate compendiums of ornament grouped by styles or by other categories are not wanting; the splendid "Grammar of Ornament" of Owen Jones, and "Ornament polychrome" of Racinet; the "Ornamentenschatz" of Dolmetsch, the "Handbook of Ornament" of Franz Sales Meyer, Speltz's "Styles of Ornament," and the excellent plates of "Historic Ornament" published by the Prang Educational Company, are examples of such collections of ornament, all meritorious in various ways, and all highly serviceable to students and decorators. But in the whole catalogue of the Avery Library of Columbia University -- the richest collection in this country of works on architecture and the allied arts -- I have found but two titles of systematic histories of ornament, one in French and one in German; neither available for those who read only English, and neither of them, even for those who can read French or German, exactly suited to the needs of the average English or American student of architecture or decoration.

I have for years felt the need of some such text-book . . .

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