Album Works on Embossed Paper 1820s
This fine collection of works was once in the possession of a Mrs Clayton of Bamber Bridge, near Preston, Lancashire, 1827. The South Ribble district and its cloth factories, which were among the first in the world, were key in the success of the early industrial revolution in Britain. The Claytons of Bamber Bridge were a prominent local family and in the 1760s were the first industrial bleachers. Edward Clayton established a bleaching and printing trade at Bamber Bridge in 1764. The success of the Clayton family continued, with William Clayton of Lostock Hall, and his ancestors George and then William Clayton, a banker and mayor of Preston, 1839.
The collection represents a fine example of the fashion for album compiling amongst genteel ladies in the early part of the 19th century. Mrs Clayton was evidently a wealthy lady with the time and resources to collect these high quality drawings and watercolours. Some are signed E.C. and S.C., most likely members of the Clayton family. Some of the works are dated, ranging from 1813 to 1834. The subjects are very typical of the day, including picturesque European and British Grand Tour views, such as Athens, Naples and the Lake District; detailed natural history subjects; and grand country manor houses, possibly residences of acquaintances of the Clayton family.
These works are particularly charming because many are on or laid down on Dobbs card, with embossed decorative borders. The paper embossing technique developed by Dobbs of London in the early years of the 19th century represented an innovative advancement in printing. These works are a striking artistic product of the profits of industrial revolution.