Over a century ago, before photography took over the world, reference books were illustrated by huge teams of skilled artists.
People’s curiosity about the world was growing. It was the age of the great museums, of encyclopedia, of the cataloguing of knowledge. Steamships, trains and cars meant travelling was something that more and more people could do. And developments in colour printing meant even those who couldn’t afford to travel were able to browse books, where page after page of artfully arranged, exquisitely crafted hand-coloured drawings were produced to collect, celebrate and reveal the wonders of the world.
Thousands of hours of work went in to producing these pages but they now mostly lie unseen in libraries, in dusty forgotten tomes. But you can help us change that!
The Catalogue of Wonders offers us a chance to travel back to those days. It is planned as a beautiful compendium of illustrations, curated by Wolfgang Wild and designed, restored and colour corrected by Jordan J. Lloyd, the team that brought us The Paper Time Machine.
A beautifully bound, 320 page coffee table book, it will be organised alphabetically, covering every imaginable subject drawn from nature, history and the man-made objects of everyday life. From the exquisite (feathers, eggs, jewellery) to the practical (bonnets, shoes, doublets), each subject spread comes with detailed annotations, but the real joy will be swimming in page after page of colour, and seeing the world through the eyes of people who lived before we were born. If Dorling Kindersley did time travel, this is what it would look like.
A must for all students of design and illustration, for lovers of encyclopedias and lists, or for anyone who wants an object of timeless beauty to grace their home.