18th Century French and English Style Books | Marie Antoinette's Gossip Guide to the 18th Century: 18th Century French and English Style Books

December 20, 2011

18th Century French and English Style Books

Here are two more books I have come across that I think many of you will really enjoy!

Cliff, Stafford. 2008. French Style and Decoration: A Sourcebook of Original Designs. London: Thames & Hudson.

Cliff, Stafford. 2008. English Style and Decoration: A Sourcebook of Original Designs. New York: Thames & Hudson. 

Each book has over 600 illustrations, that include original 18th century designs for everything from molding profiles, cloche design, decorative art such as urns, interior designs, furniture design, fabric swatches, porcelain, etc... I keep comparing it to home shopping from a catalogue (an 18th century catalogue...)

I have found the books excellent (and very inspiring!) because images are from original sources.  You can see and read the handwriting of the artists who jotted down notes in the margins!  Everything is very detailed.  Check out this image of teacup design from the Sèvres porcelain factory just before the Revolution. (click to enlarge)

The French book includes chapters on
  • Into the 18th century, the influence of Versailles 
  • Régence and Louis XV, the triumph of Rococo 
  • Transition, Louis XVI and Directoire, the new classicism 
  • Consulate, Empire and Restoration, styles imperial 
  • Second Empire and Fin-de-sićle, revivalism and revolution 
  • Twentieth-century duality, art deco and modernism.

The English book includes:

  • The 18th century: Classicism and Rococo
  • Regency and after: revival and eclecticism 
  • Early Victorian: the workshop of the world 
  • High Victorian: after the great exhibition 
  • The late 19th century: into arts and crafts 
  • The 20th century: traditionalism to modernism
I hope everyone's holiday season is going well, and your shopping is all set! I am still working on my list (fathers are always tough!) but I have a few days to finish up!

French Style and Decoration: A Sourcebook of Original Designs by Cliff, Stafford. London: Thames & Hudson. 2008. ISBN 9780500514009
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


  1. I would love to have them both. I guess I have to wait until after Christmas ; )

  2. Love them! I'd really like to have both too.

  3. Thanks for sharing this, these are amazing!

    Now I know what to ask for for my birthday

    Happy Holidays!

  4. I am going to look for these books at the library,

  5. hmm. no chance of german version coming up??