Italian Minstrel

Italian Minstrel

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Antique French Tapestry

Panel from 19th C French Curtains
The photo above shows a detail from some absolutely superb French tapestry curtains dating from about 1870. The Chateau curtains are in wonderful condition, a tiny amount of fading and 2 small holes, so you still get the glorious and original colours, so easy to imagine these 11 ft long (that is 3.2 m to your Euro measurers!) panels hanging in a stone Chateau in somewhere like the Loire Valley! They are totally irresistible but as I already have many fantastic curtains in our house I have resisted them - but only just!

The French tapestry panels always have such interesting subjects, almost always connected with the countryside or country pursuits, surrounded by borders of foliage. They usually are loomed in wool, cotton and a little silk, sometimes linen mixed in for strength. These of course are machine made, but surprisingly there were mechanical looms from very early on in the 1800s, which made these more economic to produce than say the hand-loomed Aubusson tapestries which would take a couple of years to loom just one! That of course is why Aubusson hand-made tapestry is so sought after and expensive! And relatively rare.

These curtains will make a wonderful window dressing and I am a little envious of the person who will eventually have them!