(continued from previous)
What I didn't realize is that window display dressing is an art. There really is a method of dressing store windows to display the maximum merchandise and to sell the most goods.
This book is one of the first to create a merchandising method to window displays. The author explains that certain windows can sell merchandise, and starts with various window designs, proceeds through display draping, types of materials, and methodologies to explain the displays.
As you can see by the photos, the author offers many methods to draping windows with various displays.
For the Victorian era, the displays were lush, decorative and merchandise-intensive. These aren't the bare-boned single item you see today in our retail stores.
These displays were meant to present a story, or else a large array of goods to attract you into the store.
What amazes me is how time-intensive these displays obviously are. If you look at some photos, you will see yards of ribbon partially unwrapped and hanging against the back wall backdrop. That means that persons had to re-wrap, iron or unravel the merchadise displays when the displays were done.
As if that wasn't enough pressure for the average shopkeeper, this book includes a wide amount of advertising between each chapter. Surprisingly, the author also advertises his many various display items for sale with his personal label, so the average shopkeeper can obtain the window dressing displayed in the book.
It's quite obvious that he made window dressing into a science. If you research this book, it is considered a primer for the basis of window dressing and the author is well-known for this book.
What I didn't expect is for this book to be so expensive and rare. This is probably because the book has over 400 plates (images) plus a step by step method of teaching you window displays. For 400 plates, that's very visually intensive, even more so since it is a Victorian book. I have been collecting window display books for a few years (I will discuss that shortly) and this book is about $200 for a copy in good condition.
I checked a well-known book site, and to my surprise both copies I looked at previously were sold. Since I purchased this copy in poor condition, I paid $66, which is a fair price. This copy comes up for sale on a regular basis, but unless you are seriously interested in this subject, I wouldn't recommend it's purchase, as it tends to be one of the higher priced books of this type.