(Scranton, PA): (ca. 1925). 675+ gelatin silver photographs measuring 3.25” x 4” approx. depicting lace samples against a black background, item numbers pinned to lace. Some curling, else generally fine. Plus 140+ lace sample cyanotypes, measuring 4.75” x 3” approx. Generally very good. Plus 31 additional images in black-and-white: eight 15” x 12” approx., others various smaller sizes. With: faux-leather album measuring 13” x 11” approx. and titled “THE SCRANTON LACE COMPANY / Corner Glenn Street and Meylert Avenue” on paper label to front cover. Interior marked “curtains/table coverings book no. 3.” Contains 273 images of various sizes, cyanotype and gelatin silver mounted on black paper, some captioned with names of product lines. Plus: two invoices for yarn and other textiles. Joints and edges worn, several pages detached. Contents generally fine. Item #16469
A sizable archive of over 1,150 images from the Scranton Lace Company, a major manufacturer that operated from 1890 to 2002, consisting of samples used in home decor — primarily window treatments and table linens -— likely photographed for internal purposes. Composed mainly of product sample photographs, including images of intricate lace patterns against a dark background and with inventory numbers pinned to the sample. Several enlargements of full table cloths and settings also included, with those mounted in the album cut — with striking effect — to create the illusion of a three-dimensional perspective. More than 200 of the images are cyanotypes, which are notoriously fugitive to light and are here uncommonly well-preserved. The company was a leading producer of decorative lace throughout the 1900s. Notably, the invoices and marginalia indicate at least some of these styles were made from Rayon, which had only debuted commercially in the U.S. in 1924. Also noteworthy, firm designer Hugh Rodham (likely responsible for many of the patterns pictured here) is the grandfather of Hillary Clinton. The bulk of the company’s extant archives are held by two regional museums: Pennsylvania Anthracite Heritage and The Waverly Community House. A comprehensive representation of period lace styles, ranging from traditional to contemporary and art-deco patterns, all rendered in exquisite detail. We will note for purely self-serving reasons that two small lots of about 50 photos — both of a similar nature and from the same company — made more than $1000 each at the 2015 Swann vernacular photo auction.