September 25, 2014

Vintage French Fabrics

A short while ago, I came across a really nice blog that I'd like to share with you.  Actually, to be more precise, this blogger came across my blog and wrote to me with a question.  I, of course, visited her blog as I was answering her, and was really excited by her posts.

The blog is called "Treasures From A French Attic".

Joan lives in South Yorkshire, England, and has a deep love for and collects and sells French antiques, including some wonderful fabrics.  Her blog is a lovely introduction to textiles and antiques that are, needless to say, very, very unlikely to come to my studio.  Her photos are very well done and her love for these things shines out in her writing.  There's a lot of good historical info in Joan's descriptions.

Here are some examples:

Toile de Nantes, roller printed in madder on cotton, c. 1810, showing four scenes from Joseph's life, an especially finely detailed print.  In this scene he is being sold into slavery by his brothers.  I have seen a few toile quilts in museums in this country, but not many.

Tapestry fragment, 18th Century, Aubusson tapestry.  Joan notes that Aubusson was the first center for tapestry weaving, dating back to the fifteenth century. 

An artifact related to the tapestry industry, a tapestry "cartoon".  These designs were (still are, in tapestry weaving today) mounted behind the looms and served as guides to the weavers for their designs.  Joan tells that the painters were sometimes well-known artists, sometimes anonymous.  This is a design for a chair back.

Tassels, early 19th c.  I learned a new word:  passementerie.  Joan's definition:  ornamental trimming of fringes, tassels, bobble and flat trim and used on drapes, cushions, furniture and clothing  Joan says: Before the modern age most trimmings were of natural materials and those made in France were the best in the world, justifiably world renowned both for variety and excellence of execution.  

Joan's collecting tastes are wide-ranging.  She has a post on ecclesiastical antiques, which includes this gorgeous angel.

She collects everyday objects of all sorts:

19th c. straw hats, which she likens to those seen on farmers painted by Van Gogh and others.

Here are a couple of groupings, including more practical household linens, a child's workbasket dating to the 1930s-50s and a wooden coat hook.

Joan also has a Etsy shop where she sells some of her wonderful finds.  Her blog is certainly a feast for the eyes and imagination.  I'm so glad she wrote to me!

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