Monday, December 04, 2006

Ancient Spanish Ballads

Moorish Ballads

Ancient Spanish Ballads engravings

Owen Jones Block Text Ornamentation

Shield and Sword

Knight on Horse and Border Ornamentation

Owen Jones Border Ornamentation

Sword, Staff and Decorative Vignette

The Young Cid

Historical Ballads - Knights in Ornamental Display

Horse Engravings Surround a Text Block

Dead Crusader and Border Ornament by Owen Jones

Horse Engraving in Decorative Vignette with Border Elaboration

The lavish 1841 publication of 'Ancient Spanish Ballads; Historical and Romantic' (translated by JG Lockhart) is considered to be the first of the illuminated 'gift books', popular (it seems) in Victorian England.

Owen Jones was responsible for the design of the book and he contributed all of the border ornamentation and decorative vignettes together with some of the earliest chromolithographs ever printed (4th image from bottom). The engravings were produced by a team of 6 artists.

Each of the ~250 pages contains some form of elaborate colour border, embellished motifs and/or beautiful arrangement of text within the artistic illustration work. There is very little repetition of either layout or design elements. Only 2000 of these extravagant books were ever made (in this format).

Owen Jones was a Welsh architect and spent a considerable amount of time touring the continent as a young adult. He is best remembered for the 1856 classic, 'The Grammar of Ornament'.


Anonymous said...

just impressive, amazing! thanks for upload it!

High Power Rocketry said...

What a great page.

Fernando José Ladislao said...

I'm totally overwhelmed, surprised, confused, amazed...

I can't stop wondering how they made these pages, with just their hands and some pens, why is this kind of work now forgotten or even disliked. I feel like nothing is being made with this pasion and skill.

Glad to know there is at least a few left who consider these kind of things among the most beautiful creations Man has ever made.

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