Height: 187 mm Oiled paper, Width: 202 mm Oiled paper, Height: 195 mm pink-paper support, Width: 211 mm pink-paper support
Design for a woven silk in bodycolour on oiled paper
Design of three vertical stripes, the central one with pale brown dotted scales and the ones on each side in pale blue with flowers, some resembling many-eyed peacock feathers laid over the surface. The underlying design is drawn in black chalk and painted in bodycolour on oiled paper once transparent now brown.
This design for a woven silk has been copied onto oiled paper, once transparent now brown and opaque, that worked like tracing paper. The copied design was then painted in bodycolour. This was a method of reproducing a design and its colour scheme. It was probably reproduced for reference purposes. The design is for a woven silk known as 'a tobine'. This was a weave known in France as cannellé. A tobine has transverse ribs formed by warp floats. A tobine is a textile with a textured effect made by a warp additional to the ground warp. A tobine can be combined with other effects such as brocaded flowers as is probably the case in this example. A brocading weft is a weft participating in the formation of design effects in textiles that have a ground weft and whose movement is limited to the width of the design it produces. The flowers, leaves, and feather-like shapes in this design were probably intended to be brocaded with the coloured silk threads just taken across the width of the motifs. Due to technical innovations during the reign of Louis V, new ornaments in silk design became fashionable, weavers imitated lace and feathers in the 1760s. These feather-like flowers are similar in style to such earlier designs. Feathers were still seen in some French woven silks in the 1780s. This design probably dates to the early 1770s.
This design was bought on 18 December 1911 from G. Mathias, Jeune in 'Set. no. 9' for 100 francs. It was part of a collection of anonymous original designs many for French textiles, Lyon silks and printed cottons, 18th and early 19th centuries. Registered file 1911/3636 M Inv.E.I.D. 327
Location: In Storage