The Leman album

Textile Designs
1706-1716 (designed), 1730s (designed)
The Leman album thumbnail 1
The Leman album thumbnail 2
+15
images
Not currently on display at the V&A

Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Album of designs [104] for woven silk. 1706-1716, and 1730s. Bound with anonymous designs [2] of about 1840. Mounted on 47 pages of thick paper, half bound in morocco, probably in the mid 19th century, with a label of J. Vanner and Sons pasted on the front cover. There is an inscribed brown wrapping paper pocket pasted to the inside of the front cover.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Pencil, pen and ink, watercolour and bodycolour on laid paper half bound in morocco
Brief Description
Album of textile designs for woven silk, 'The Leman album', pencil, pen and ink, watercolour and bodycolour on laid paper, James Leman, Spitalfields, 1706-1716 and 1730s
Physical Description
Album of designs [104] for woven silk. 1706-1716, and 1730s. Bound with anonymous designs [2] of about 1840. Mounted on 47 pages of thick paper, half bound in morocco, probably in the mid 19th century, with a label of J. Vanner and Sons pasted on the front cover. There is an inscribed brown wrapping paper pocket pasted to the inside of the front cover.
Dimensions
  • Binding height: 49cm
  • Binding width: 31.4cm
  • Binding height: 19.3125in
  • Binding width: 12.5in
Marks and Inscriptions
  • 'J. Vanner and Sons' (Handwritten collector's mark in ink, on a label pasted onto the front cover.)
  • [Illegible inscription] (Illegible handwriting in ink on a brown paper label stuck to the back of the back cover.)
  • '[Illegible inscription] I S' (Handwritten initials in ink in a diamond shaped label beneath the upper label on the back of the back cover of the album.)
  • 'PHOTOGRAPHS RECEIVED / FROM / VICTORIA AND ALBERT MUSEUM / 19TH MAY 1959' (Handwritten text in ink on the front of the brown wrapping paper pocket pasted to the inside of the front cover of the album.)
Credit line
Purchased with Art Fund support and the National Heritage Memorial Fund
Object history
This is a design from the so-called 'Leman album' which was bought from Vanners Silks Ltd. in 1991. Natalie Rothstein catalogued the designs before the album was bought by the Victoria and Albert Museum. She gave each design a VS number (for Vanners Silks) in her catalogue Silk Designs of the Eighteenth Century. The designs have been subsequently numbered by the Prints, Drawings and Paintings Department, however, a concordance exists.



Historical significance: The designs collected in the album are, with the exception of some fragmentary medieval examples in Italian collections, the earliest silk designs known to exist.
Production
Attribution note: It is unknown, at present, exactly when the designs were pasted into an album. The current binding is nineteenth-century.
Bibliographic Reference
Rothstein, Natalie. Silk Designs of the Eighteenth Century in the Collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London with a Complete Catalogue with 473 Illustrations, 371 in Colour. London: Thames and Hudson, 1990. 351p., ill. ISBN 0500235899.pp. 96-107
Collection
Accession Number
E.1861:1-1991

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record createdMarch 22, 2002
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