Book Historian Erik Kwakkel recently wrote about this incredible Dutch book from 1692 which is in effect the first ever 'Pantone' book, 271 years before Pantone launched their famous fan like book in 1963.
In over 700 pages of handwritten Dutch, the author, A. Boogert, describes how to make watercolour paints by diluting them to differing degrees. Boogert intended the book to be an educational aid to artists. However, the handmade nature of the guide meant that readership was sadly limited.
It wasn't until 1963 that Lawrence Herbert, the founder of Pantone, created his book which is an indispensable tool in the design process.
It is also rather fun browsing material, colour being evocative of memory and emotion. The Pantone Hotel in Brussels uses this nuance, each room a white canvas with an individual splash of colour. Amazing how your mood changes from room to room; entirely dependent on the colour combination.