This volume is based on the well-known 1892 collection of ornament designs, The Practical Decorator and Ornamentist, by George A. and Maurice A. Audsley. Originally conceived as a collection of samples for architects and decorative painters, many professionals have found inspiration in this book, including cabinet-makers, ceramicists, and engravers.
This way, these ornaments found their way into tapestry designs, carpets and upholstery fabrics. Ornaments is not restricted to a mere reproduction of the original designs, though; it also provides commentary based on the original annotations of the Audsleys and describes the background of ornament from a perspective of the history of style and cultural studies, from Ancient Greece to the Middle Ages, from the Renaissance to classicism, from Japanese style to floral style. The book is completed by detailed instructions on how to copy the ornaments.