„A great watershed in sanitary design“, 1902

TWYFORDS, Ltd. Cliffe Vale Potteries, Hanley, England: Twyfords’ XXth Century Catalogue of Sanitary Specialities. With 240 mainly multicoloured lithographic pages. Hanley, Staffs.: Twyfords Ltd. s.a. [1st January 1902].

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TWYFORDS, Ltd. Cliffe Vale Potteries, Hanley, England: Twyfords' XXth Century Catalogue of Sanitary Specialities in Porcelain, Earthenware & Porcelain-Enamelled Fire Clay. Sanitary Appliances and Fittings. Parts I & II in 1 vol. I: W.C's & Accessories, Lavaratories, Urinals, Baths & Fittings. II: Porcelain Enamelled Fire Clay Goods with Accessories. With 240 mainly multicoloured lithographic pages (in parts heightened with gold-colour) containing more than a thousand illustrations after drawings, photographies and sketches. Hanley, Staffs.: Twyfords Ltd. s.a. [1st January 1902].

Oblong-2° (39,5:28 cm). [1st b/w title leaf with photo-collage)], [2nd title leaf with multicoloured typographic title)], [8 p. (preface, errata, index)], 135 leafs (nos. 1-122 + 13 numbered additionally with letter „A“), [6 p. (list of references)]; [title leaf)], [2 p. (index)], p. 1-70, 6 leafs (numbered 71-76, with sketch plans on tracing paper). Original green cloth with pictorial title-printing in black and turquoise on front cover and spine, as well as coloured end papers illustrated with the companies' logo.

Lavishly illustrated, voluminous and particularly rare folio catalogue of Staffordshire based Twyfolds Ltd., the world’s leading manufacturer of sanitary ware in those days.

Contents: „Of all the historic Twyfords catalogues, perhaps more than any other, the ‘Twentieth Century Catalogue’ marks a great watershed in sanitary design. Here in its much embellished pages, the Victorians’ love of display and decoration reaches its apogee in the bathroom. The richness and variety of the appliances shown is in itself remarkable, but together with a wild abundance of surface designs and decorations, the effect is truly staggering. Yet so far from being grotesque or unpleasantly ostentatious, the vast majority of these pieces are superb. Fanciful, certainly, but in their way, quite beautiful - almost as much works of art, as of sanitary science.“ (Denley).

Attached at the end of part I is a list of references stating hundreds of customers, e.g. hotels, hospitals, railway stations, schools and clubs in the U.K. and Continental Europe, especially in Belgium, Germany and The Netherlands. - Enclosed are 5 additional leaflets, where of 4 with multicoloured advertisements for products and 1 with a typographic list of the companies' trade marks.

Condition: Edges of cover slightly bumped, cover in parts decently worn, fore edge slightly foxy, pages alongside fore edge and especially at section markers finger- and also slightly water-stained, erratically numbered twice by the typesetter in part II (42, 41A; 58, 57A), otherwise well preserved item.

Rarity: Though this copy of the catalogue is numbered with a stamp „6182“ on the bottom of the 2nd title page, this item is very hard to find today, particularly in sober condition and complete, i.e. with the 11 sketch plans attached to part II. WorldCat, KVK and Google show only 3 institutional holdings worldwide, and COPAC none in the UK.

Reference: James Denley: A History of Twyfords 1680-1985, p. 39.

Additional information

Weight 10 kg