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The V&A Sourcebook of Pattern and Ornament (Victoria and Albert Museum)

AUTHOR: Amelia Calver

The wealth of surface pattern and three-dimensional ornamentation in the many objects that enrich our lives is testament to the inventiveness of designers and craftspeople around the globe and throughout history.

This richly illustrated, easy-to-navigate sourcebook presents more than 1,000 historic and contemporary examples of pattern and ornamentation from around the world, each one succinctly identified and explained. Arranged thematically, it is unique among pattern books, as it includes examples not only of surface pattern but also of three-dimensional ornamentation and embellishment.

Two-dimensional pattern is ubiquitous, no matter what the age of an object or where it was created. From Japanese kimono and William Morris fabrics to Chinese porcelain and contemporary furniture, such works reveal humanity's unceasing desire to combine pattern with design. Just as prevalent are examples of three-dimensional embellishments that go far beyond the requirements of their practical use: an acrylic handbag has a carved motif of insects and wildflowers, a cobalt-blue pottery ewer has a dragon's-head spout and an early 19th-century fruit plate is shaped like a seashell.

Designers working today are as fascinated and inspired by pattern and ornament as they have always been. This expertly compiled selection will appeal to designers, artists, illustrators and other creatives from all disciplines as well as anyone interested in visual and material culture.

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