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Tessellation design ideas from around the world

I uploaded a number of image plates from Owen Jones’ 1853 classic work on design and ornamentation, “The Grammar of Ornament”. This is a favorite book of mine, which I have in a handy portable edition. The images I uploaded are all tessellation related, which I found to be interesting or inspirational.

You can find them here:

Here’s a sample image:

Byzantine No. 3

There’s 45 images in all.

I also uploaded a good selection from a later work, Alexander Speltz’s 1906 book titled “Styles of Ornament”.

Here’s a sample from that collection:

Islam Ornament, Plate 119

22 images in total.

I’m still looking for a great book with nothing but tessellation designs from mosques, especially the mosque patterns from Shia mosques in the Syria/Iraq/Iran region. Until then, these old collections are quite helpful, and the price is right. If you find these interesting I’d highly suggest picking up a nice, large copy for yourself via or other online book seller- they are quite inexpensive.


I neglected to add a link to my original source for these images! It was via the University of Wisconsin’s Decorative Arts Digital Collection, available here. Thanks, UWDC!

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  1. Kevin says

    these are nice!
    i really should learn how to make tesselations from an equalateral triange
    then i can work on stuff like this!

  2. Administrator says

    It’s a great place to start!

    squares, triangles and hexagons are the only “regular” tessellations, which can be folded using a grid- but other shapes can be made within that framework.

    There’s a lot of other things out there, of course, but working from the same base makes it much easier.


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