Our latest range is based on the colours found in a little volume that was first published in 1814. Some years before, a Saxon mine manager, Abraham Werner, had put forward a system for the classification of colour in order to describe rocks and minerals dug out of the earth. However, it was an Edinburgh flower painter, Patrick Syme, who extended Werner’s colours, providing an animal and vegetable equivalent so that they could be used by a wider range of specialists. A copy of this work was carried by the naturalist Charles Darwin on his voyage in the Beagle in 1833.
In spite of Patrick Symes’ attempt at quality control, the colours in surviving original editions do vary and some have not aged well. We have therefore taken an editorial decision with some of the colours, but they still reflect those in this charming early work.