Author: Stephen Van Dyk

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(L) image of leather cover (R) image of ottoman tassel Detail from Schwarz, Philip. Novelties in Laces for Furniture and Decoration. Vienna: Druck von Stockinger & Morsack, 188-?.
Dressing the Interior: Philip Schwarz’s Novelties
Novelties in Laces for Furniture and Decoration is a set of one hundred and fifty color lithographic prints depicting over one hundred and ninety unique tassel and trim designs. The designs incorporate gimp, braid, galloon, bows, flies, and bobbles. Color reveals details of ply, twist, pile, and luster, and highlights and lowlights provide a sense of...
black and white print of dinning wear
A Pickle Fork for Every Occasion
The roots of the firm Reed & Barton in Taunton, Massachusetts, go back to several ownerships starting in 1824, and by 1840 the firm of the silversmiths Reed & Barton was firmly established.  They created high quality goods that could compete with European and British silversmithing.  They achieved success as both a manufacturer and marketer...
Dickinsons' book cover
A Crystal Palace
English publishers William Robert Dickinson (1815-1887), Lowes Cato Dickinson (1819-1908) and Gilbert Bell Dickinson (1825-1908) received a royal commission to compile this colorful folio commemorating Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of all Nations held in Hyde Park, London May to October, 1851. The folio includes 55 chromolithographic plates depicting the building and exhibitions of...
A page spread from the featured book. On the left page, there is a view of the car in profile.
Beauty & Efficiency
The progressive and innovative design and mechanics of the Marmon Sixteen – a custom-made, sixteen cylinder automobile manufactured in 1931 by the Indianapolis Marmon Motor Car Co. are promoted in this two volume publication.  The book details the theories and goals of the head designer, Walter Dorwin Teague (1883-1960), and the engineer, Howard C. Marmon...
Yellow cushioned corner chair
Fancy French Furniture
Le Garde-meuble, ancien et moderne (Furniture repository, ancient and modern), was a periodical consisting entirely of illustrations depicting French furniture, interiors, and window treatments.  It was published in Paris from 1839 to around 1935 originally under the direction of furniture designer Désiré Guilmard. The title, Le Garde-meuble refers to the name of the office Louis...
Typographic arrangement
Back to the Futurists
 Les mots en liberté futuristes (Futurist Words in Freedom), published in 1919, has an ingenious typographic design and an explosive layout.   Its different styles and sizes of typeface defied traditional rules of structure and punctuation and heralded a revolution in modern visual communication. This pocket-sized portfolio is a mini-anthology of the writing and typographic experiments...
Pop up book with Pinocchio
To Tell the Truth
In the 1930s, Blue Ribbon Books and Pleasure Books, who published a series of colorful pop-up books including The Pop-up Pinocchio, were the first to coin the phrase “pop-up book”. In a five year period, they produced more than ten remarkable pop-up books on classic fairy tales including Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Jack the Giant...
Kimbel & Cabus firm trade catalog depicting modern gothic furniture.
American Gothic
This trade catalog, which contains more than 100 photographs of furniture in the “modern” gothic style, is one of the only remaining works to visually document the furniture designed by the renowned New York cabinetmakers, Kimbel & Cabus. Anthony Kimbel emigrated from Germany in the late 1840s and partnered with Anton Bembe to form Bembe...
Rectangular needle boxes mounted on a page
On Pins and Needles
This catalog and sample book, circa 1930, contains needle and sewing items manufactured by The Dominion Steel and Coal Corporation (DOSCO), a Canadian coal mining and steel manufacturing company. Included are more than 50 steel sewing, crocheting, and knitting needles and safety pins. Some are even in their original packaging. Brief captions, images, illustrations, and item numbers...