The Book of Delightful and Strange Designs


As is evident, the designs in question are Japanese stencils from a book of 100 stunning examples published in 1893. Author Andrew White Tuer adopts a surprisingly disingenuous tone in his explanatory introduction which is “dedicated to that most capricious, never-to-be-understood, weathercocky, provokingly incorruptible, and absolutely necessary person, the gentle reader”. Leaving aside such eccentricity, the stencils are astonishing things, especially when many of them are not only finely detailed but also form repeating patterns. Once again, I recognise some of the designs from bad reproductions in cheap books so it’s good to find them in such high quality.



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