Representing silk design: Nicholas Joubert de L'Hiberderie and Le dessinateur pour les etoffes d'or, d'argent et de soie (Paris, 1765)
Journal of Design History, 17, (1), . (doi:10.1093/jdh/17.1.29).
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Le Dessinateur pour les étoffes d'or, d'argent et de soie was published in Paris in 1765 depite the reservations of the silk-weaving guild of Lyons, receiving a good response in the Enlightenment press. As the first description on French of the trade of silk designer to appear in the public domain, it has become an important work on which much subsequent history has been based, often rather uncritically. This article delves into the representation of design offered by this text, evaluating it against the personal experience of its author, the literary and manufacturing heritage on which he drew, and the readership for women it was intended. The analysis is based on the form and content of the book, the structure, vocabulary and illustrations. Comparative data are drawn from two other important publications on silk manufacture, the relevant sections of Denis Diderot's Encyclopédie and Jean Paulet's L'Art du fabriquant.
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