Similarity

The study of historical art motif is very fascinating to me. Oftentimes one finds the same motif being replicated and adapted for different media.

This is from a set of French made dishes someone had given me for everyday use. I like the Toile de Jouy look. I never thought anything of it except for the fact that they are beautiful and that they are extremely durable:

… until I saw these designs in a book entitling “Historic Floral and Animal Designs for Embroiderers and Craftsmen” by Suzanne E. Chapman. These are patterns of Argentan laces from the 18th century. The first picture depicts a lace pattern worn by Queen Charlotte on her marriage to King George III on Sept 8, 1761:

Argentan lace is a type of needle lace (worked with a needle and thread popular in the 17th and 18th century. According to Britannica online, it was made at the French town of Argentan from the 17th century, when Louis XIV’s minister Jean-Baptiste Colbert founded the lace industry. Characteristic of this lace is a net background consisting of a large hexagonal mesh, the six sides of which are worked over with buttonhole stitching. Absolutely fascinating to me!

While we are on the subject of history, Queen Charlotte was the queen of England while the American Revolutionary War was going on. Though rather “plain-faced”, she remained the devoted wife of King George III. She bore him 15 children, thirteen of whom reached adulthood. She was an avid fan of fine arts, and had Johann Christian Bach (youngest son of JS Bach) as her music teacher. Her contemporaries might have considered her “plain-faced”, you can see her queenly attire is anything but plain. Of course, her royal status is unmistakable by the badger-skin coat that is draped over the chair in the foreground of that portrait:

Filled with amazement of being able to connect these few dots in history, I started looking around the house to see if I could connect a few more dots, and saw this on a Portuguese Matelasse coverlet:

The pattern isn’t exactly as elaborate as the Argentan lace, but there is definitely some faint similarity going on there. Fascinating, isn’t it? Does your heart beat with excitement like mine whenever I discover yet another historical gem? Hahaha…

To date I have adapted on paper the lace pattern worn by Queen Charlotte for a wholecloth quilt. All I am lacking now is time… where and how could one find some extra time?!

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7 thoughts on “Similarity

  1. Beautiful. We toured a Historical Ranch House here in Camarillo over the weekend and I thought of you and your quilting when I saw some embossed victorian wall coverings in the house.

  2. Pingback: Pages tagged "badger"

  3. That is fascinating! I am always interested in vintage patterns and such. It is funny how you so often see the same motif over and over. :)

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