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    Sale 12455

    European Furniture & Works of Art

    6 July 2016, London, King Street

  • Lot 47


    FRANCE, CIRCA 1820

    Price Realised  


    FRANCE, CIRCA 1820
    The shaded chestnut-brown field centred with an ivory roundel enclosed within a floral garland issuing decorative flower filled vases, all in a panelled chocolate-brown border filled with delicate floral garlands framed within pale green minor stripes filled with linked oak leaves, full pile throughout, a few minute surface spot stains, a couple of small holes and one small repair, overall very good condition
    16ft.9in. x 14ft.11in. (510cm. x 453cm.)

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    The Savonnerie carpet manufactory was a Royal undertaking started under the impetus and protection of Henri IV (r.1589-1610) and established an unrivalled reputation, akin to its sister factory, the Gobelins tapestry workshops. The aim of the enterprise was to develop a domestic luxury weaving industry that could supply the Crown with French carpets that would be equal to or even surpass the desirable and expensive imported pile carpets of the Orient. Under the patronage and protection of the Bourbon monarchs and exempt from the usual guild regulations the factory flourished, manufacturing carpets for the floor and to cover furniture almost exclusively for the Court, the Royal Palaces and for diplomatic gifts. During the French Revolution (1788 – 1799) carpet production at all of the major factories within France was heavily disrupted and in some cases all but ceased. It was Napoleon (emperor 1804 – 1814, 1815) who revitalised the carpet industry by ordering Savonnerie ateliers to recommence production in the hopes of bolstering the French economy. During this period, and for much of the following Bourbon Restoration, the designer Jacques-Louis de La Hamayde de Saint-Ange-Desmaisons (1780 – 1838) was the most influential within the Savonnerie factory (Sarah B. Sherrill, Carpets and Rugs of Europe and America, New York, 1996, p.91). A Savonnerie carpet that is clearly reminiscent of Saint-Ange’s style and of similar dating to the present lot which shares a central rosette medallion surrounded by floral sprays and borders is published by Sarah B. Sherrill (op.cit. New York, 1996, pl.99, p.93). It is not uncommon that designs seen in knotted-pile Savonnerie production found their way onto the contemporaneous Aubusson pile and flat-woven carpets; an example of which with a very close field arrangement but on a green ground sold in Sotheby’s, 2 November 2011, lot 377.