Werner's Nomenclature of Colours

Werner's Nomenclature of Colours

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By Patrick Syme
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Item code: 35002

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First published in 1814, Werner's Nomenclature of Colours is a taxonomic guide to colour which has been cherished by naturalists and anthropologists for over two centuries.

In the late 1790's Abraham Gottlob Werner devised his own standardised colour scheme, which allowed the writer to describe even the subtlest of chromatic differences with consistent terminology. His scheme was then adapted by an Edinburgh flower painter, Patrick Syme, who traced the actual minerals described by Werner, and used them to create the colour charts found in the book. In the pre-photographic age, almost all visual details had to be captured using the written word, and scientific observers could not afford any ambiguity in their descriptions. These included Charles Darwin, for whom Werner's Nomenclature was an indispensable tool during his seminal voyage on the Beagle. Werner's Nomenclature of Colours is a charming artefact from the age of explorers, which continues to be treasured by artists and scientists alike.

Abraham Gottlob Werner (1749-817) was an eminent mineralogist and geologist. His 1774 book On the External Characteristics of Minerals included a classification of colours which was widely used by natural philosophers until well into the 19th century.

Patrick Syme (1774-845) was an Edinburgh painter and art teacher. He was introduced to Werner's system of colours by the great Scottish naturalist Robert Jameson, a former student of Werner who went on to tutor the young Charles Darwin. Jameson used mineral samples to reconstruct Werner's colours, and these formed the basis of Syme's colour swatches, which are faithfully reproduced in this book.

  • Dimensions 23.2 x 14.9 x 1.4 cm
  • Author Patrick Syme
  • ISBN 9780565094454
  • Hardback Yes
  • Number of illustrations 13 Colour Charts
  • Publisher The Natural History Museum
  • No of pages 80
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Here’s more information on refunds & returns.

Delivery & returns

Delivery times

We aim to deliver shop products within:

UK – 1-2 weeks

European Union – 2-4 weeks

Rest of world – 2-4 weeks


Neon lights will be delivered in 2-4 weeks, as they are made in small batches and shipped separately from other items.

Delivery costs

We currently offer free standard delivery on UK orders over £60. Please note that this is offer is valid only online. Our other delivery costs are as follows.

For orders under £60:

UK – £3.60 per order

European Union – £15 per order

Rest of world (including non-EU European countries) – £28 per order

Limited editions

Due to the nature of our Limited Edition artworks, Tate offers rates for packaging materials to sufficiently protect the works and a fully insured, door-to-door courier service, for both UK and international shipping.

UK – FREE
USA – £80 each
European Union – £120 each
Rest of world (including non-EU European countries) – £150 each
 
 

Rugs

Rugs are dispatched directly from the Christopher Farr workshop, so they will arrive separately from any other items ordered from Tate Shop.

UK – £50 per order

For international shipping enquiries, please contact us at shop@tate.org.uk for quotes on delivery to selected countries.

 

Food & Wine

Our collection of food and wine is only available for delivery in the UK. We currently offer free delivery on wine orders over £100, using a specialist white glove service within the M25 area.

Wine: UK only – £20 per order

Please note that our wines can only be purchased by those aged 18 years and over. Customers will be asked to provide proof of age upon delivery.

Here’s more information on delivery.

Refunds & returns

Please contact our customer service team within 45 days if you need to return anything from your order. We will be happy to offer you a full refund, replacement or exchange on any items excluding custom prints, face coverings and pierced earrings.

Unfortunately, after 14 working days we cannot refund any delivery charges or cover the cost of returning the item. You can contact our customer service team by email at: shop.online@tate.org.uk or by phone on +44 (0)20 7887 8888 (Monday – Friday, 9.45–18.00).

Here’s more information on refunds & returns.