Monday, 15 November 2010

Exciting New French Toiles c1810-1830

I went to an antiques fair a couple of weeks ago on the promise of a few interesting toiles that two of my favourite French dealers had emailed me about. I wasn't disappointed; as well as a couple of designs I have come across previously, there were some lovely new ones I hadn't seen before in the 'cloth' so to speak, or in any of my books.

I think most of them date to somewhere round about 1810-1830. There were some gorgeous pieces that tell the tale of William Tell, a fabulously detailed and dynamic print, full of energy and excitement, a few of panels that I think both came from Nantes, one depicting tales of Swiss 'amour' that is nicely simple and quite naturalistic and another more dramatic print depicting tales about a couple called Lodoiska & Lovzinski. Luckily enough the toiles have come in quite a few separate pieces, so plenty to sell, but more importantly, some to keep for myself!

Thursday, 21 October 2010

An intresting up & coming exhibition at the V & A

Here is the link:

Imperial Chinese Robes from the Forbidden City

7 December 2010 - 27 February 2011

Book Tickets

Exhibition: Imperial Chinese Robes from the Forbidden City

This exhibition shows three centuries of beautiful and historic royal robes worn by the emperors and empresses of the Qing Dynasty, the last ruling dynasty of China (1644-1911).

On display are elaborate and exquisite robes, hats, shoes and children's clothes, along with beautifully patterned fabrics created for the fashion-conscious Empress Dowager Cixi and her court ladies. The exhibition also explores the complex rules and conventions specifying which clothes should be worn on different court occasions: from official robes for important rituals to festive dresses for banquets and celebrations, and travelling ensembles for hunting and royal visits to the provinces. On show for the first time in Europe, this is a rare opportunity to see these sumptuous historic garments.

All objects in the exhibition are from the Palace Museum, Beijing.
Exhibition kindly supported by Lady Keswick and Sir David Tang.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

An evocative autumnal print

This 19th century French upholstery cotton came from the headboard of an upholstered bed. I love the autumnal motifs of hops, harvest and the Green Man.

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Coming soon to the V & A - I cant wait!

This looks wonderful, an excerpt from the BBC's Arts & Culture section of their news website on 27th May:

Raphael's Sistine Chapel tapestries headed for V&A

The Miraculous Drought of Fishes by Raphael
The Miraculous Drought of Fishes is one of four tapestries to be featured

Four tapestries designed by Raphael for the Sistine Chapel almost 500 years ago are to be displayed at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London in September.The tapestries will be shown alongside their full-sized original designs, called the Raphael Cartoons, which have been on display at the V&A since 1865.It will be the first time they have been shown together.

V&A director Mark Jones said it was "a marvellous opportunity to see great Renaissance masterpieces reunited".

The six-week exhibition will coincide with Pope Benedict XVI's historic visit to Britain.

Raphael was commissioned by Pope Leo X to design the works - The Miraculous Drought of Fishes, Christ's Charge of Peter, The Healing of the Lame Man and The Sacrifice at Lystra - which were woven in Brussels and sent to Rome for display.The four - part of a series of 10 - are the only tapestries designed by the Renaissance artist, of which examples survive.

The tapestries are owned by the Vatican Museums, while the cartoons belong to the Queen.The seven cartoons have been on long-term loan to the V&A since the reign of Queen Victoria and are too fragile to leave the museum building.

Tickets to the exhibition are free and will be available from 1 July.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Elegant Mythological Scenes c1782

This is such an elegant print, it is a toile de Bordeaux, c1782, and depicts delicious mythological scenes from Ovid's Metamorphosis.
The panel was extremely damaged to the point of literally falling apart, just a few tantalising areas in good condition. Most people would pass such a damaged peice by, but I can't resist them in that condition, as I then like to salvage as much as possible. I hate to think of the number of glorious textiles in terrible condition that have been thrown out, there is always something useful left, no matter how damaged, even if just to keep for reference.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Aubusson Tapestry Border Fragments c1750

Here are a few small fragments of hand-woven Aubusson Tapestry borders c1750 that have passed through my hands recently. I have posted about some of them before, but felt like re-visiting them, as I recently saw some complete tapestries adorning the walls in a magazine article about a stately home. The tapestries would have been huge pictorial panels edged with designs like this, hung over draughty walls for ornament, heat-insulation, and of course, status, as they were incredibly expensive to commission. The wool threads were dyed with natural dyes, imparting wonderful colour to the tapestries, a rich and natural colour-pallette that cannot be repeated with synthetic, modern dyes. The design was worked according to a painted 'cartoon', which was placed near the weaving for the artisans to follow.

In the fourteenth century, Paris & Arras were the most important centres for tapestry. By the fifteenth century production had moved primarily to Tournai, then towards the end of the fifteenth century, production moved to Brussells, and this centre dominated during the 16th century. after the decline of the Flemish centres, tapestry weaving again moved and began its rise to fame in France in the seventeenth century.

Friday, 12 February 2010

Happy Valentines Weekend xxx

Have a lovely weekend, whatever you do xxx