Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Owen Jones 1809-1874

From the University of Wisonsin Digital Library for the Decorative Arts and Material Culture.
Full facsimiles of The Grammar of Ornament (1856) and Examples of Chinese ornament selected from objects in the South Kensington Museum and other collections (1867).
Jones, an architect and ornamental designer who served as superintendent of works at the Great Exhibition of 1851, was instrumental in the application of chromolithography to book illustration. In his travels as a young man he became fascinated by Eastern forms, and the books he published reproducing these patterns influenced the design of English wallpaper, carpets, and furniture.
The Grammar of Ornament, one of the masterpieces of nineteenth-century color printing, is a systematic presentation of ornamental motifs from the ancient world through the Renaissance. There are several thousand examples; each plate depicts a group with common chronological and geographical origins. The individual plates, lithographed by Francis Bedford, are tied together by a unified color scheme. As the title suggests, Jones intended the work to be used as a practical guide and resource for designers, and the introduction includes a set of principles covering "the arrangement of form and color."
The Grammar of Ornament. 1856

Examples of Chinese ornament selected from objects in the South Kensington Museum and other collections. 1867

The color plates are offered in 4 resolutions. If you want to print them choose the largest page size to save. Look for this tool.


  1. what a fantastic link ! beautiful big color plates, thanks to have post it

  2. Anonymous4:06 PM

    Nuts about your blog. Check out Visipix.com for great downloadable art. (You probably know about Vpix, don't you?)

  3. No, I didn't but am crazy for it! I'm going to post about it for those who don't read the comments. This place is just wonderful.

  4. this is an awesome link...thanks so much for all you do!

  5. i just loved that link, spent hours going through it all, so inspirational. thank you

  6. Anonymous10:33 PM

    I have a book of 50 originals,in a wooden book/box entitled 'The Grammar of Chinese Ornament' by Owen Jones stamped into the leather. The box is a little worse for wear but the prints are in good condition in their original mattes, I sent them to my mother as a Christmas gift last year. Looks to have register notes on them (maybe from the printer to get the right coloring or shall I say colouring?)If you have any more info on my rare find, I got them at a reputable dealer for $250, I'm positive they don't know what they had.I will be trolling your blog!!

  7. Anonymous10:37 PM

    Hi anonymous again. I also made sure to photograph them all before I sent them, so I would have a digtal record of them, I shot them with a high resolution SLR camera, so if there is an expert, I would love some input.


Comments make my day.