While most of the books are anonymously created bound volumes showcasing silk, velvet, and cotton swatches, two notable manufacturers are represented, including Bianchini Férier, who supplied fabric and created designs for haute couture houses Givenchy, Chanel, Dior, and Balenciaga. The majority of the books hail from Lyon, considered the epicenter of the French textile industry for centuries. “The textile industry in France from 1850-1950 was known as the Second Industrial Revolution; Paris became the hub of textile design, colour forecasting and trend setting. By the 1920s and 30s, sample books were employed to communicate new designs, trends and the latest textiles around the world,” said Tennants.
The sample books will be offered solo or in small groupings, at estimates ranging from £150 to £5,000.