"Late Eighteenth & Early Nineteenth Century Textiles" presents a selection of pieces chosen for their beauty, their elegance and their relevance to the history of textile design. The focus is on furnishing textiles that illustrate the tremendous shift in taste from the restrained Neo-Classical style of the late 18th century to the imperialistic, utterly luxurious fashions of the Napoleonic era and beyond. Europe and America experienced rapid changes in interior decoration throughout the 19th century, due in part to the radical social changes wrought by the Industrial Revolution. Flamboyant "nouveau riche" taste flourished throughout the western world, encompassing spirited revivals of Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo and Islamic styles and designs by talented figures such as Owen Jones, Eugene Viollet-le-Duc, Christopher Dresser and William Morris.One of the earliest textiles featured is the "Verdures du Vatican," designed by Jean-Demosthene Dugourc for King Carlos IV of Spain in 1799.
Elsewhere there is a brocaded silk and metal satin rosette and medallion chair seat cover by Grand Freres for Cartier et Fils, 1808-15, the design of which was re-woven for Jacqueline Kennedy's 1962 refurbishment of the White House. The book features many more pieces of great beauty and extremely high quality. Two British designs relate to the Aesthetic movement: the first, "Hatton," is silk tissue with a beautiful design depicting prunus blossom and small insects, designed by Bruce Talbert, a central figure of the Aesthetic movement; the second is a hand block printed wallpaper designed by Christopher Dresser, with stylised flowers and trailing plants, inspired by Japanese decorative artwork. Also featured is Vineyard, a cotton and wool weave designed by Edmund Hunter, which was displayed at the 1903 "Arts & Crafts Exhibition."Along with its companion volume "Twentieth Century Textiles," this landmark publication offers an extraordinary opportunity to appreciate the evolution of textile design and technique across almost 200 years through a stunning selection of pieces rarely on public view.
Francesca Galloway has been dealing in textiles, haute couture and Indian miniatures for more than 25 years. She established a textile department in Spinks in the 1980s before starting her own business in 1992. Her publications include "Islamic Textile Design", 1980, and "The Art of Textiles", 1989, both for Spink & Son Ltd. and the highly succesful "Post War British Textile Design", 2002.Sue Kerry trained as a silk weaver and has spent much of her career in the British textile and wallpaper industry, as archivist for Warners among others.