25 May 18: Time travel for colour

If you had a time machine, where would you go and why?

I’m thinking the 1850s. I recently read that the first mention of cerise as a colour as well as a fruit – according to Maerz and Paul in their ‘Dictionary of Color’ – wasn’t until 1858 (cerise is French for cherry, originating from the Norman cherise). Thinking about it, that was around the time that Magenta and Solferino were named (in 1859, after Italian battles). It feels like the 1850s were probably an exciting and dynamic time for colour-lovers, with new dyes and colour names bursting forth all over the place (as well as providing an opportunity to swish about in a voluminous frock). My kind of era, for sure.

Martha, The Colour File x

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