The rise of an increasingly affluent Victorian middle class and the availability of mass manufactured goods, including furniture and textiles, contributed to an intense interest in the concept of ‘home’ and questions of taste. Magazines and books giving advice on the subject proliferated, and achieving a tasteful home appropriate to one’s social station became a matter of great importance. This was also the period at which design copyright was introduced, leading to the formation of the unique collection of designs registered for copyright held by The National Archives. The talk discusses this collection, and the insight it gives into Victorian interior design.
Julie Halls works in the Modern Domestic Records team at The National Archives as the records specialist for Board of Trade records, which include Registered Designs.
This talk was based on research for an article published in the Journal of Design History (J Halls, Questions of Attribution: Registered Designs at The National Archives. Journal of Design History, published 22 February 2013).