The Hermès Cahiers – Sketches And Drawings By Philippe Dumas

Late last year Hermès (of which I am a bit of a fan 😉 ) released nine small books – sketchbooks or cahiers – with drawings by Philippe Dumas, heir and CEO of Hermès. The books have been published by the esteemed Parisian printing press Actes Sud.

The books include sketches and drawings (watercolours, pencil and ink) of artefacts of the Musée Hermès at 24 rue Faubourg St Honoré in Paris. They are grouped into various themes, many of which are horse-related, since the “Sellier” business is what Hermès started out with of course.

I wanted to share a few glimpses of what is inside these lovely volumes.

photo 1

The Titles are La Mer, Vive le Cheval, La Route, Les Metamorphoses, Vive la France, L’Exotisme, La Vie á l’Air Libre, Le Soleil and Voyage en Extrême-Orient.

photo 2

Variations of the famous Calèche motif that is part of the house’s logo.

photo 5

Those sketches have even prompted me to try my own hand at drawing and it is not all that bad actually. Who knew I could draw a horse?! (Maybe one day, when I’ve practiced lots more, I’ll show you… )

photo 3

My sons’ favorite motive – the sheep-drawn carriage. 😉

photo 4

I love the water colours in this one.

photo 1 (1)

Detail from La Mer.

photo 3 (1)

Detail from La Route “The dangers of fast transportation”.

photo 2 (1)

From Les Metamorphoses (btw, Metamorphosis was the theme of the house in 2014, this year it is Flaneur Forever! – I’m looking forward as to how they will interpret that, especially if/how Jean Claude Ellena will).

photo 5 (1)

I love this deeper insight into the history of Hermès aesthetic and design. They draw on their heritage and celebrate continuity without ever being stale or old-fashioned. Not only their scarf and RTW designs but virtually anything that leaves the house is imbued with history, tradition and heritage. The motifs found in the books can be found throughout the world of Hermès, used in ingenious ways to make products that are functional works of art – just what good design should be.

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I bought all nine cahiers, but gave one (Le Soleil) to my mother in law for Christmas, one is conspicuously absent from the photo shoot as it was in my handbag being toted around the city.

photo 5 (2)

And best thing? These cost 10$ each. A truly affordable treat from Hermès for once. 😉

The cahiers are available on Amazon (UK here, US here).

Note: copyright owned by Hermès and Philippe Dumas, photos by me.

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28 Responses to The Hermès Cahiers – Sketches And Drawings By Philippe Dumas

  1. Sandra says:

    I love each and every single one! Beautiful books full of inspiration. I look forward to seeing your drawings. 🙂

  2. Tara says:

    $10 each? I was expecting an extra 0 there. Fabulous. I love the one with the colourful horses in full flight.

    It would be great if these result in a new passion for you. Drawing a horse can’t be easy!

  3. Vanessa says:

    Beautiful! I also am drawn to the drawing of the sheep drawn carriage…;)

    And such good value. Do you have a favourite? Thinking they might make good presents for horse loving friends – or anyone really. My cousin was the cartoonist for Horse & Hound magazine over here and would have enjoyed these. Sadly long gone.

    • Olfactoria says:

      They are all my favorites, although I love the funny drawings best, like the sheep and there are several comical carriage mishaps depicted in La Route.

      Horse&Hound! Hugh Grant worked for them too as I remember. 😉 (In the movie Notting Hill.)

      • Vanessa says:

        Thanks for the info on the cahiers – of course the teal one would work best with my decor if I was going to keep one, hehe.

        Didn’t know that about Hugh Grant, or had forgotten it maybe? My cousin also got the commission to design a personalised (horsey houndy) Valentine’s card for Prince Andrew to give to Fergie, shortly before he proposed. Though Andrew is a bit of a sensitive subject these days…;)

  4. shellyw says:

    very cute. Do they sell them in the boutique? or just from booksellers?

  5. anitathepianist says:

    Thanks, Birgit, I’ve put them on my Amazon “Wish List”. The illustrations that you posted are
    lovely. Hermèes is my favorite house too. You come up with such nice items….

  6. happyface313 says:

    🙂 I do have some of the old books – they were initially given to good customers many years ago, I thing they started 1989 or so. Mine are from the early 1990ies. So these are re-issues and make an excellent little gift. I bought some for friends for Christmas 🙂
    Metamorphosis is the newest one for 2014 and I wonder what 2015 will bring?
    Have a wonderful weekend! 🙂

  7. Thanks, I bought the lot, every single one of them. They are absolutely delightful and I’m very grateful for the recommendation. (I wish I were a bit better at drawing. OK, I wish I were a LOT better.)

  8. annielill says:

    These are STUNNING!

  9. Vanessa says:

    Thank you for sharing! I wasn’t too eager to buy those, because of my truly bad french, but seeing the illustrations, I should consider adding them to my kids-book-collection.

  10. johanob2014 says:

    Those are very pretty!Lovely gift to an Hermés afficianado as well!Heading to Amazon….;-))

  11. Suzanne says:

    Thanks for sharing these, Birgit. They have that “recapturing of a bygone era” romanticism about them … and only $10 each!!?? Even Dr. O can’t object to that, yeah? (Not that he objects … I know he thoroughly enjoys treating you to Hermes, while also creating his own version to compete with them.) 😀

  12. John says:

    What kind of sketch pencil was used? Does Hermes makes mechanical pencils?

    • Olfactoria says:

      Hi John,
      I’m afraid I don’t know which pencil was used. Hermès makes regular (leather-wrapped) pencils, but to my knowledge no mechanical ones.

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