Owen Jones The Grammar of Ornament 1865

While our images are electronically watermarked, the antique prints themselves are not.

†† Moorish Designs OG42 $75
Each print measures approximately 9 inches wide by 13 1/4 inches long

The Grammar of Ornament by Owen Jones (1809-74), is a seminal work in the history of decorative art.  It could be considered one of the first multicultural design collections, incorporating concepts from many countries and centuries.   It was definitely an important precursor to our global economy, with textiles and paper now produced all over the world.  Many of the designs first presented in The Grammar are more familiar to us than the original subscribers, a tribute not only to its tremendous influence but the globalization of trade. It was both the revolutionary presentation of world wide decorative arts at a time when very few saw beyond their own borders & a synthesis of design up to the Victorian era. 

Owen Jones, the son of a prosperous Welsh family, was educated at Charterhouse and then at the Royal Academy.  In his youth he traveled extensively in the Middle East, Mediterranean & Moorish Spain, documenting his observations in Plans, Elevations, Sections and Details of the Alhambra in 1842. One of his great triumphs was as Superintendent of the Great Exhibition in 1851. During the subsequent relocation of the Crystal Palace to Sydenham in 1854, he designed the superbly stylish Egyptian, Greek, Roman and Alhambra Courts.

In 1856 he published, with Sir Matthew Digby Wyatt, his definitive Grammar of Ornament, which became a great success and one of the most influential design works of the next 50 years, inspiring William Morris & the Arts & Crafts Movement. Jonesí goal was to provide scientific accuracy and detailed records of colors and patterns, rather than artistic interpretations. Since no London printer could meet his exacting requirements, he set up his own printing presses to produce the 110 magnificent chromolithographs. 

These stunning images transcend the centuries and cultural identities, producing a cohesive and definitive work that continues to serve as a relevant reference and inspirational source for designers to this very day.

His theories concerning architecture & decorative art can be found at the following link: http://www.bc.edu/bc_org/avp/cas/fnart/fa267/grammar/propositions.html

He was a man of diverse talents, producing the colour printed illuminated gift books popular with Victorians.  His 173 playing card designs for Thomas de la Rue, the card company, produced over a period of 20 years, delighted such luminaries as Charles Dickens.  He was prolific in his output, producing wallpaper & textile patterns for exclusive companies & award winning interior design for many wealthy clients.  Among the many beautiful books he also published is one of our personal favourites, One Thousand and One Initial Letters (1864)

These prints are in very good condition, with a very occasional fox mark, on thick, high quality paper, measuring approximately 9 inches wide by 13 1/4 inches long.  The colours are quite brilliant, including gilt and silver illumination on some.  A copy of the decorative title page accompanies each print.   

We accept credit cards, PayPal, checks, and money orders. Washington state residents pay Washington state sales tax. Shipping for this item is $8.95. Items can be combined to save on postage. Our environment is smoke free. We pack professionally using only new materials. All items are beautifully wrapped and suitable for sending directly as gifts. You may return any item within 7 days if not satisfied. To order, you may call us at 1-888-PANTEEK or send an email to panteek@aol.com


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