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An Amazing 17th Century Pantone Colour Book

Antique Pantone Colour Book

I had to share this with you today. It’s a bit different to my usual posts in that it’s not about 20th century fashion, cinema or cake, but I found this book was fascinating and I thought you might too.

Anyone who’s a designer out there will know about Pantone and their colour guides. I have a set myself (see the snap below) and just love the seemingly endless variety of colours. For those of you who haven’t heard of the Pantone guides they’re basically a posh (and expensive) version of the Dulux paint charts you get in DIY stores which designers use to make sure printers print the *exact colour* they want them to.

Astonishingly this Dutch book was made way back in 1692 by a very patient man called A. Boogert, in which he details the different colours achieved by mixing watercolour paint in various different dilutions (with 1 part water, 2 parts water etc). The results are this amazing 800 page (yes 800 PAGE!) handwritten and handpainted book.

The title of the book is Traité des couleurs servant à la peinture à l’eau which Google Translate helpfully tells me means Treaty of colors used to paint water (thanks for that Google). I’m guessing it actually means something more like ‘How water affects watercolour paint colours’ but I may be wrong. Medieval Dutch never was my strong point.

I digress.  Anyway, enjoy the beautiful pictures of this book which was discovered and shared by Medieval book historian Erik Kwakkel. The whole book has been scanned in high-res and is available to view online here if you’d like to see more. I can’t imagine how long it must have taken Mr Boogert to make this labour of love, but the results are still fabulous over 300 years later!

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One of my Pantone guides. Give me the old Dutch version any day!

One of my Pantone guides. Give me the old Dutch version any day!

The whole book has been scanned in high-res and is available to view online here if you’d like to see more.

4 thoughts on “An Amazing 17th Century Pantone Colour Book

  1. Missy

    Looks like a labor of love for sure … I’m really happy to see it has lasted so long and in such good condition …

    Reply

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