Exhibition

Swatchbooks from Lyon

Swatchbook from Lyon 'Rubans', 1901 (c) Swiss National Museum

Swatchbook from Lyon ‘Rubans’, 1901 (c) Swiss National Museum

Visitors admiring the Abraham swatch books at Silks & Prints from the Abraham Archive - Couture in Colour, 2013, Photo: Boy Kortekaas

Visitors admiring the Abraham swatch books at Silks & Prints from the Abraham Archive – Couture in Colour, 2013, Photo: Boy Kortekaas

The swatchbooks featured in the exhibition ‘Silks & Prints from the Abraham Archive – Couture in Colour’ were produced in Lyon between 1830 to 1914. There are 227 of them in the Abraham Archive, all of them purchased by Gustav Zumsteg, who gave them a proud place on the company’s bookshelves. Adding them to the Abraham Archive was Zumsteg’s way of acknowledging Abraham’s indebtedness to the silk weavers of 19th-century Lyons.

Swatch books from Lyon at Silks & Prints from the Abraham Archive - Couture in Colour, 2013, Photo: Boy Kortekaas

Swatch books from Lyon at Silks & Prints from the Abraham Archive – Couture in Colour, 2013, Photo: Boy Kortekaas

Since each book contain hundreds of swatches, collectively they resemble a vast treasure trove and were thus an inexhaustible source of inspiration for Abraham’s designers.