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Trade Catalogue] Ruth L. Mills Nomend Fashion - Nomend Hosiery, Inc - 1940. 
Printer: Carey Press Corporation, New York 1940 - Fabulous, novel and scarce trade catalogue by a hosiery company. 4to. 31.5 by 29 cm. 9 leaves of thick card. This most unusual of trade catalogues is built around a musical theme. The "American Favorite" refers to songs or theme music, with seven different selections: "Sweet Sue", "Juanita", "Dixie", "Yankee Doodle", "Dinah", "Sweetheart", and "Jeanie". To each is dedicated a two page spread depicting a woman dressed evocatively and nostalgically as befits the period associated with the music. Usually the same woman is shown in two different poses, one on each page, one more a close-up. The illustrations are three tone -- say, red and blue, green and red, etc. -- are rendered with a broad, impressionistic brush that was very much the style of the period -- think the backdrop for countless movie musical numbers of the period, or a set conceived by Cecil Beaton or Jean Cocteau. On the right page, usually with the more intimate image, are small insets of fabric, using real fabric, and the inset cut-outs shaped meticulously like the particular accessory -- a shoe, a glove, a pocketbook -- and other insets to fill out details such as street light globes, a steeple, a lampshade, etc. These fabric insets, all executed with great fastidiously and appeal, are the source of more varied color and pattern, and they very much contribute most to the uniqueness of the production. It is not that one won't see this kind of work in some other publication, but the extent of its employment here, factoring in the ephemeral nature of the project, and the quality of the craftsmanship, surely stand out as special. This Nomend company was making a big statement about the fineness of its product here. As if this weren't enough, the outside binding is of a floral silk damask, cushioned to the boards, and a centerpiece double inset featuring an oval color portrait within a gilded square, all meant also to evoke the prior century. The table of contents provides a table suggesting color combinations for outfits, and between each of the musical entries are two pages that amount to half-titles with floral decorated corners. The binding of the cards together is with a metal spiral contained within the outer binding -- one doesn't see the spiral from the outside. The book came within a large card-stock envelope, which is very well preserved. [Attributes: First Edition; Hard Cover]
[Bookseller: White Fox Rare Books, ABAA/ILAB]
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