Lyon, Guillaume Bruyas, ca. 1860-1870. Oblong folio (26.6 x 40.2 cm). 92 leaves with 1734 original watercolour illustrations (a few leaves with blank versos, a few larger, folded, a few with printed illustrations, mounted). Original full calf. Front board with blind-stamped and gilt borders, gilt title. Marbled endpapers.
A wonderful, unique catalogue of a French 19th-century hardware manufacturer and store situated in the town of Lyon, the largest town in eastern France and an early centre of industrial activities. The original drawings show locks and keys, hammers, chisels, planes, files, scrapers, pincers, saws, cutlery, lamps, nuts, bolts, kitchen utensils, bells, paintbrushes, mouse traps, clocks, door fittings, garden tools, guns, including revolvers and rifles, etc., in endless variety, all drawn and coloured accurately and in great detail. At the dawn of industrial mass-production, this catalogue shows an amazing mix of frivolous ornamental and strictly utilitarian designs. Each item is accurately and precisely illustrated in colour(s), with a keen eye to details, underscoring the craftmanship of the items they represent. Boards a bit worn at edges; the expected workshop soiling and thumbing in the lower outer margins, mainly from repeated flipping of pages; a few old, makeshift repairs; internally otherwise very good. A unique and very desirable item.