9962 VERY RARE LEATHER BOUND SET OF ONE HUNDRED AND THREE TECHNICAL DRAWINGS OF OBJECTS IN STEEL, IN INK AND WATERCOLOR ON PAPER Remschied Germany. Circa 1800. Measurements: Each drawing: 29 x 15 1/2 cm
One hundred and three drawings, watercolor and ink on paper. Doublesided. Leatherbound.
This remarkable leather bound collection of watercolor drawings is a rare survival of a complete inventory record of a German manufacturer of tools and other metal wares. There are over 1,400 Stock Keeping Units, which include all manner of woodcraft and farming tools, surgical equipment, weighing and measuring devices, traps, pocket knives, even coffee grinders and ice skates, a large range of complex locks and cutlery.
This vast portfolio was produced circa 1800 by the Exporthaus Peter Frohn, a company based in Remscheid, Germany. It is an early testimony to the flourishing iron-goods industry in the Bergisches Land around 1800. We are told that the collection of watercolor drawings came directly from the heiress of the family.
The company is still in existence today as Robert Frohn Sohn KG; an advertisement, circa 1942, shows a similar array of tools available from the company (figure 1), and includes the “hammer and tongs” trademark, first introduced by Jan Frohn when the company was created in 1689 and still used today.
It is generally accepted that modern day trade catalogues evolved from such portfolios and pattern books.