Invented in the 1840s, the cyanotype utilizes an iron salt solution that oxidizes in sunlight, producing the distinctive blue color for which it is named. A variation of the process was used for decades to create blueprints—duplicates of architectural drawings. This cyanotype records an elegant Point de Gaze lace, an expensive 19th-century textile. Though the mesh-ground of the lace was manufactured by machine, the pattern was produced by hand. This example was part of a larger book of cyanotypes of lace, possibly a pattern book for home use or a salesman’s sampler catalogue. The quality of the pattern and the large size of the swatch suggest this cyanotype was intended to attract wealthy and stylish clients.


Cataloguing data may change with further research.

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Artist
French
Publisher
Published by Calavas Frères, Paris, active 1875–1930
Title
[Sample of Lace]
Date
c. 1880s
Medium
Cyanotype
Dimensions
Image: 28 11/16 × 19 1/2 in. (72.8 × 49.5 cm) Sheet: 28 11/16 × 19 1/2 in. (72.8 × 49.5 cm)
Credit Line

Museum purchase funded by Bryn Larsen in honor of Stephanie Larsen

Current Location
Not on view
Accession Number
2016.130
Classification
Photographs
Provenance

[Robert Hershkowitz Limited, Sussex, England]; purchased by MFAH, 2016.