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Pattern book

Pattern book

  • Place of origin:

    Vietnam (possibly, made)
    China (possibly, made)

  • Date:

    1915-1920 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Printed paper

  • Credit Line:

    Given by John Lust

  • Museum number:

    FE.104-1997

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This large format printed pattern book does not seem to be primarily for the use of artisans, but rather for customers to choose and order an embroidery product. It dates from around 1915 through the 1920s, and its many different designs — sometimes one to a page and sometimes more — show a range of plants, birds, butterflies and beasts. Entire layouts are given as well as single elements.

This pattern book was used by the firm of Nam-Quat in French colonial Vietnam. The title page is in French, as are the hand-written descriptions with prices, suggesting that the Chinese settlers in Vietnam might have been behind this embroidery enterprise, which perhaps had expatriate European customers in mind.

Physical description

Pattern book with a green European binding, large-format, printed in black on cream thin paper.
This pattern book for embroidery does not seem to be primarily for the use of the artisans carrying out the work, but for customers to choose and order a product. Dating from the mid teens or twenties of the twentieth century, its many different designs, sometimes one to a page and sometimes more, show a range of plants, birds, butterflies and beasts. Entire layouts are given, as well as single elements. It was used by the firm of Nam-Quat in what is today's Vietnam, at the time a colonial possession of France. The title page is therefore in French, as are the hand-written descriptions with prices. A large number of ethnic Chinese have settled in Vietnam over the centuries and might have provided the business impetus behind this embroidery enterprise, undoubtedly aimed, at least in part, at expatriate Europeans. To meet the high demand for such decorated items, the firm had branches elsewhere, including Shanghai, and its desire to reach an international clientele is evident by its entry, and medal success, in competition. It had the ability to produce many kinds of interior furnishings in a variety of colourways. The final page has actual silk satin samples in twelve different colourways.

Place of Origin

Vietnam (possibly, made)
China (possibly, made)

Date

1915-1920 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Printed paper

Dimensions

Width: 76 cm, Length: 42 cm

Object history note

This object was given to the V&A by John Lust, the Chinese librarian at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

Descriptive line

Pattern book of Chinese embroidery designs from the firm of Nam-Quat in Vietnam, 1915-1920; Pap, China, prints

Materials

Paper

Techniques

Printing

Categories

Designs; Textiles; Embroidery

Collection

East Asia Collection

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