[Scarce study of the waratah in decorative arts. This beautiful work contains illustrated examples of the use of the waratah in many fields of the applied arts, such as architecture (brackets, capitals, columns, ceilings, etc.), bookbinding, ceramics, electric fittings, glassware, ironwork, lace, wallpaper, dado, frieze, windows and woodcarving. Covers the history of the use of the waratah in the decorative arts, at a time when the surge to Federation and nationhood led to greater appreciation of and call for the utilisation of native flora and fauna as well as indigenous materials - wood in particular - instead of those imposed and imported from the Old World. From its first discovery the waratah quickly became popular as a symbol of all that was different and exotic in the new colonies - "the land of the Waratah", particularly in New South Wales althought it is a native of three states. Perhaps one reason for its popularity is the ease with which it can be stylised into an infinite variety of ornamental treatment, much as the Egyptians with the Lotus flower and the Greeks with the Acanthus leaf. One artist who very quickly recognised the waratah's decorative potential was the Frenchman Lucien Henry, who was the principal art instructor at the Sydney Technical College between 1883 and 1891. He himself published a work on the waratah, Australian Legend. The War-atah on his return to Paris in 1891. Henry also produced a manuscript entitled The Application of Australian Flora and Fauna to Decorative Art. In 2001, a major exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney exhibited this manuscript and explored its significance, though Henry had been unable to find a publisher in either London or Paris during his lifetime.].Item #1240
Bound in original decorated cloth, gilt, patterned endpapers, 190 mm x 250 mm, 29 colour and 39 black & white illustrations; a very good copy.