Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Pattern book

Pattern book

  • Place of origin:

    Norwich (made)

  • Date:

    1763 (dated)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Kelly, John (manufacturers' agent)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Worsted (wool) samples, mounted on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mrs Bland

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 118a, case 8

Object Type
John Kelly was the agent of a Norwich textiles manufacturer. This book is his 'counter-part', or matching copy, of a pattern book sent to Portugal and Spain, where customers could choose from the numbered samples and have their orders prepared back in Norwich. The book shows the range of patterns and colours thought likely to appeal to the Spanish and Portuguese market in 1763, the date it was sent, and the colourful names given by manufacturers to convey fashionable or exotic novelty, like martinique, harlequin, floretta and diamantine.

Materials & Making
Worsted is a fabric woven from long staple wool, which is prepared for weaving by combing rather than carding, and can have a smooth finish suitable for glazing. In the second half of the 18th century, the majority of the worsteds exported were calimancoes. A contemporary writer commented that 'these were woven in various patterns which ... were composed of the richest and most brilliant dyes and variegated by an endless diversity of colours ... this manufacture was peculiar to Norwich, and the colours employed for it surpassed any others dyed in Europe'.

British Customs records list large quantities of worsted sent to Spain and Portugal from Norwich in the 18th century. The export market was of major importance to Norwich textile manufacture. Norwich Stuffs, as they were known, were exported via London (and later Great Yarmouth), through Rotterdam, Hamburg and Danzig. There were substantial imports into Russia and China, and to the Iberian peninsula, from where they were also re-exported to Central and South America.

Physical description

Volume of patterns for wool worsted

Place of Origin

Norwich (made)


1763 (dated)


Kelly, John (manufacturers' agent)

Materials and Techniques

Worsted (wool) samples, mounted on paper

Marks and inscriptions

'A Counter-Part of Patterns sent to Spain and Lisbon by Mr I K February 1763'
front cover; inscribed

Inscription on last page of samples (several pages are left blank): 'Dec.r 1763 Sent a Counterpart to Messrs Manuel Paulin & Son & Antonio De Elias & Herme both at Seville.'


Height: 27 cm, Width: 33 cm open

Descriptive line

pattern book containing samples of worsteds, John Kelly, Norwich, 1763

Labels and date

TEXTILE PATTERN BOOK for the Spanish and Portuguese markets
Dated 1763

The export market for worsted fabrics was very important to the English textile industry with 'stuffs' woven in Norwich sent to across Europe and to Asia and America. The most popular were calimancos, which were worsteds woven in stripes and floral patterns in bright colours with a glazed finish.

Worsted (wool) samples mounted on paper
Produced in Norwich by the textile manufacturer John Kelly
Inscribed on the front cover 'A Counter-Part of Patterns sent to Spain and Lisbon by Mr I K February 1763'
Given by Mrs Bland Museum no. 67-1885


Worsted; Paper


Weaving; Dyeing


Textiles; Pattern books; Europeana Fashion Project


Textiles and Fashion Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.