Thursday, 16 September 2010


Pagodas, fishermen, parasols and exotic birds conjure up a Chinese scene for me and my very favourite fabrics are the Chinoiserie prints of 18th C France. Many were copied from the designs of Jean Pillement whose etchings inspired fabrics, wallpaper, lacquer work and porcelain. The beauty and richness of Eastern civilisations was carried by the ships of the East India Companies to the great ports of Lorient, Marseille , Amsterdam and London, and the rich and fashionable classes eagerly adopted the new decorative styles. and copied them for their houses and wardrobes.

The Dancing Lesson is one of the most charming and I have a large panel of this in the raspberry red colour which was one of the most popular colours produced from Madder plants and cheaper than some of the other vegetable dyes. Toile de Jouy was expensive, even then, and was often mixed with the Toile de Vichy a large red/white check to complete the furnishing in a room, lining pelmets, backing chairs and making bed valances.

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