Specimens of ornamental art: selected from the best models of the classical epochs

Collection History

The digital collection draws upon the Library's exhibition, "Victorian Ornament: Excerpts from Design History," Dec. 9, 1989 - March 10, 1990, Edna Barnes Salomon Room, and supplements it with additional works through the 1920s. Holdings from the Victorian period, 1839-1900, are particularly strong covering America and Western Europe; these are often pattern or illustrated advice books. Other movements with representative, and often rare, titles include: Neoclassicism, Art Nouveau, Arts & Crafts, and Art Deco.


The Art & Architecture Collection has long been a repository of unusual plate books, with a core antiquarian collection dating to the initial creation of the Art Division. Many came from the private library of the architect Thomas Hastings, of the partnership, Carrere and Hastings, responsible for the Library's landmark classical revival building on Fifth Avenue. In the second half of the twentieth century, the department acquired additional significant titles retrospectively in response to growing recognition of the collection's depth and rarity.

Collection Data

Braun, Emil, 1809-1856 (Author)
Grüner, Ludwig, 1801-1882 (Artist)
McLean, T. (Thomas) (Publisher)
Dates / Origin
Date Issued: 1850
Place: London
Publisher: T. McLean
Library locations
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Art & Architecture Collection
Shelf locator: MLD+++ (Gruner, L. Specimens of ornamental art)
Architectural decorations & ornaments
Decoration and ornament
Architecture -- Details
Church decoration and ornament
Ownership: The Astor Library
Numbering: The plate numbers given for each item is that found in the list of plates. The last several plates in the large volume may have been bound (by the library) out of order, because the order in which they now appear does not follow their order in the list of plates.
Content: Two volumes : one of 81 plates (pages 62.5 x 47 cm.), and one (call # MLD+) of descriptive text and additional plates (pages 28.5 x 23.5 cm.). Almost all plates in the large volume are cited (below captions) as published by L. Gruner.
Physical Description
Extent: 2 v. 88 pl. (partly col.) 65 x 51 cm. (text 32 x 25 cm.)
Type of Resource
Still image
NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b13967657
Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): ef471740-c6d2-012f-b91b-58d385a7bc34
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