The colour known as Greige Drab Gamboge

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Tuesday 24 April 2012
Ron Brownson

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Farrow and Ball is an English paint company renowned for their promotion of heritage colours. They make emulsions and distempers as well as lime washes. I have an addiction to colour in both interiors and for decoration. It informs how I think about visual art experienced by the public.

The names which Farrow and Ball’s utilise for their colours art are partly traditional to the 18th century and partly the result of colour work done by Nancy Lancaster, John Fowler and David Mlinaric. 

Here is a sample: Savage Ground, Mouse’s Back, Blackened, Elephant’s Breath, Porphyry Pink, Eating Room Red, Churlish Green, Railings. Their lists go on like a fusty hoot to colour terminology.

A few days ago, I attended the weekend viewing for the auction sale at Lord Ponsonbys – a purveyor of antique furniture, timepieces, men’s attire and enamel signs. I was able to go upstairs of the shop for the first time.

There were a pair of built-in wardrobes that were painted in original shade of Greige Drab Gamboge.

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