London: Thomas Parsons & Sons, 1934. Quarto, original embossed paper-covered boards patterned in green, pink, yellow, and gilt; black paper pastedown labels lettered in gilt; embossed patterned endpapers. Illustrated with 136 mounted and tissue-guarded paint chips throughout text. Lightest rubbing to joints, occasional light foxing.
First edition of this introduction to historical color, published as a resource for decorators by the London paint manufacturer Thomas Parsons & Sons. Beginning with the “primaries of mineral origin” favored by the ancient Egyptians, the book offers a sweeping survey of color through the ages: Persian Yellow, Chinese Turquoise, Tyrian Violet, Pompeian Red, Aubusson Green, Rose Pompadour, Delft Blue. Each page of paint samples is accompanied by a brief historical note: “Georgian greens were derived with national modifications from the vert pomme or apple green of our French neighbours, for at that time our fashions in most things came from France.” A near-fine copy of a diverting book.