Lavishly illustrated Victorian sales catalogue for interiors, with original specimen, 1912
J. J. ALLEN, Ltd.: MY LADY’S HOME. ITS DECORATION & EQUIPMENT. With 26 (of 27) mounted original specimen of fabrics and ca. 500 text illustrations Bournemouth: 1912.
Verkauft / Sold
J. J. ALLEN, Ltd., of Bournemouth, London, etc.: MY LADY’S HOME. ITS DECORATION & EQUIPMENT. With 26 (of 27) mounted original specimen of fabrics, ca. 200 multicolour offset text illustrations as well as around 300 halftone illustrations after photographies, drawings and sketches. Bournemouth: Self published (Menpes Printing and Engraving Co., London and Watford) 1912.
Oblong-4to (31:24 cm). 108 pages, staple stitched in original sand coloured cardboard wrappers with pictorial title-printing in black and brown.
Lavishly illustrated, voluminous and particularly rare sales catalogue of Bornemouth based J. J. Allen Ltd., a leading department store for home interiors.
Contents, Illustrations: J. J. Allen Ltd. was founded in 1899 and was active as a House Furnisher, Carpet Importer and Factor, Cabinet Manufacturer, Upholsterer, Decorator, Removal Contractor, Warehouseman, and Funeral Furnisher. By the 1960s the company owned stores in London, Leicester and the South and West of England. Their shops included Allens‘ own store in Bournemouth (Quadrant House), Brights of Bristol, Cavendish House of Cheltenham, Colsons of Exeter and Morgan Squire of Leicester. In 1969 J. J. Allen joined the House of Fraser group.
Present 3rd sales catalogue of the company, published in 1912, presents a diversified stock of mostly patterned or pictorial (printed, but also laced, drawn-thread or embroidered) as well as coloured high quality fabrics (e. g. damask, muslin, velvet) for bedspreads, curtains, cretonnes, cushions, draperies, lamp shades, mats, pillows, table covers, towels, tapestries. The catalogue also presents floor coverings like linoleum, carpets, rugs, the latter imported and also national (British Axminster Carpeting).
Condition: Cover with skilful restoration and partly worn, first and last pages as well as edge occasionally with slight staining, otherwise well preserved.
Rarity: Very hard to find today. WorldCat quotes only 1 copy of the 28th edition, published in 1938. Jisc only locates 2 further copies, one of them dated 1913/14 (both at Glasgow School of Art Library).
Reference: University of Glasgow Archive Services, House of Fraser Archive, Company J. J. Allen Ltd, Record: c1575 (URL: https://www.housefraserarchive.ac.uk/company/?id=c1575, 26.11.21)