The Holker Album
Textile Samples and Industrial Espionage in the 18th Century
- A high quality facsimile reproduction
- Essays written by leading specialists in economic history, textile techniques, the global cotton trade, technology transfer, and fashion
- Many appendices: Translation of the manuscript in English, Technical analysis of the samples, Glossary, Indexes, etc.
- An indispensable reference work for the study of the history of textiles and fashion on the eve of the Industrial Revolution
In 1751, John Holker (1719-1786), an English textile manufacturer exiled in France, undertook an industrial espionage mission to England to collect samples of English textiles on behalf of the French king, Louis XV. On his return, the samples were assembled in a manuscript volume, which is now preserved at the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris. Each sample in this album is accompanied by a handwritten technical description specifying the quality of the fabric, its price, its dimensions and the manufacturing processes. This album is famous for preserving the oldest identifiable samples of jean fabric.
Completely bilingual, the book includes a facsimile reproduction of the album, accompanied by a transcription of its handwritten text and a dozen essays. The essays, written by academics, curators and specialists from France, Britain, and North America, explore the album from various angles: the globalisation of commerce, the slave trade, industrial espionage, economic rivalry between France and England, the taste for cotton and its role in the history of fashion, etc. The book demonstrates the importance of centuries-old links between France and the United Kingdom and is an indispensable work of reference for the history of textiles.
Text in English and French.
- Musée des Arts Décoratifs
- Publish date
- 12th Dec 2022
- 370 mm x 250 mm
- 272 Pages
- 170 color