The album Industrial drawing by Javet comes from the Forney library collection; thirty photographic plates reproduce the plates of a collection of industrial drawings which was probably photographed in order to duplicate the original and facilitate its loan.
The 19th century witnessed a vogue for collections of ornamentations and commercial catalogues of products for the building trade. This latter type of publication was closely linked from the outset to collections of ornamentations, but differed in its end use: the examples in the catalogues were designed to be reproduced by industrial means.
The plates in this album are numbered in continuous sequence, possibly a feature of the original which seems to have been designed as a brochure for sale (as is demonstrated by the concealed cover price). What is the role of the photographic medium in the commercial use and distribution of this collection of ornamental motifs?
The Petit Palais building, designed by Charles Girault, lies at the heart of this new set of architectural issues; its ornamentation was created using moulding techniques and the work of the ornamental sculptors was guided by a wealth of graphic documentation.
The album Industrial drawing by Javet provides an insight into a certain vision of architectural creation in which the large-scale circulation of designs common to all plays an essential part.