It was a pleasure to welcome Dr Philip Sykas, Manchester School of Art, Professor John Styles, University of Hertfordshire and Meg Andrews, Dealer in Antique Costumes & Textiles to the archive during April 2014. They had travelled to Bradford to exaine the Mary Ware book from the SDC collection.
What secrets would this book divulge - would they be lucky enough to find the design of a coat recently sourced by Meg? Sadly the particular design they were looking for wasn’t there, but this exquisite dyers book commencing in 1773 holds many receipts and patterns from the Georgian era. The book was added to by Vint & Gilling subsequent occupiers of the Crayford print works, and it was certainly further referred to for decades to come – in 1840 someone made a pencil calculation on the inside cover of how old the book was then!!!
Little did Mary know when she made her first entry in her receipt book on 25 September 1773 for “3 cottons – three colours” for M Dawson, that the book would still exist and be of such enormous interest some 240 years later!