France, middle of the 19th century.
Large oblong 8vo [243 x 171 mm] of (60) ll. and (7) smaller ll. inserted at the end. A few tears formerly restored, a few stains. Bound in full green roan, blind-stamped filet on covers, flat spine. Contemporary binding.
A rare testimony of the tool and implement trade in France in the middle of the 19th century. Unique collection, gathering more than 180 tools and implements on 67 leaves of large oblong 8vo size, presenting the inventory of available tools at a French hardware dealer in the 1850s. It was used as a retail catalogue by a shopkeeper.
More than 180 tools, from the simplest to the most sophisticated were here finely contemporary drawn and coloured by the shopkeeper himself. These drawings offer a very clear vision of the shapes and colours of many implements proposed for sale at that time: screwdrivers, screws, saws, nuts, hammer heads, chisels, pegs, tongs, nails, gimlets, drills, augers, pliers, anvils, axes, coffee grinders, knives, trowels, padlock, files, wood scissors, cranks… Almost all the illustrations are numbered, and some objects are available in various colours like for instance the coffee grinders or even the drills.
The present collection, created towards the middle of the 19th century, is a very interesting testimony of the traditional production of tools in France and allows us to evaluate the evolution of their shapes and efficiency.
A unique collection, entirely contemporary drawn and hand-coloured by a French hardware dealer. It is of the utmost interest not only for the history of techniques and do-it-yourself in the middle of the 19th century, but also for the craft industry.
A few handwritten notes in French that were added by the shopkeeper in the margin of some illustrations (« fumé rouge », « rouge vif » …) prove the French origin of the present retail catalogue.