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Smith, Walter (ed.) / The Masterpieces of the Centennial International Exhibition illustrated: industrial art
Volume 2 ([1876-78])

The lesson of the exhibition.,   pp. 497-521 ff.


Page 497


INDUSTRIAL ART.
page 495 we engrave a charming design of machine-made NOTTINGHAM LACE,
intended for a curtain, from the well-known factory of JACOBY, in NOTrINGHAM.
Some of the patterns in these favorite laces are of an elegance that leaves
nothing to be desired, and not their least admirable peculiarity is their
cheapness.
The CASHMERE SHAWL, illustrated on page 496, differs only from a shawl
made in Cashmere, in that it is made in Saxony and by machinery. The
material is pershon, or shawl-wool; that is, the downy substance growing
next
the skin and under the thick hair of the goats inhabiting Thibet and the
other
elevated regions to the north of the Himalaya Mountains; and the pattern
is
similar to those wrought with such labor and patience in the hand-looms of
India.  Here, again, as in the case of the lace manufacture just referred
to,
the aid of machinery has been sought to imitate the labor of the hands, and
to such perfection have shawl-making machines been brought that one who is
not an expert cannot detect any difference in the fabrics.  Doubtless many
persons having so-called Cashmere shawls congratulate themselves on having
a genuine hand-made chuddah that cost an astonishingly low price, when in
truth it is one of these machine-made European imitations that has been sold
at an excellent profit to the manufacturer.
THE LESSON OF THE EXHIBITION.
AMONG all the educational movements which have arisen in this country
during the last decade, none has seemed to be so completely in harmony with
the spirit of the times as education in the elements of industrial art. As
wealth
and European travel have increased, a taste for the skilled handiwork of
foreign
craftsmen has been rapidly developed among our people, and the desire to
become the possessors of elegant objects to make home attractive has amounted
almost to a passion.  This alone is sufficient to account for the somewhat
anomalous spectacle, that the houses of opulent and even moderately rich
Americans are usually furnished-not merely ornamented, but furnished-with
objects and materials of foreign product.
In every country in the world may be found among the surroundings of
wealthy travelers gleanings of rare or curious -objects collected from other
497


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