Robin White


More Fabric Design: Joséphine Bonaparte at Musée du Luxembourg, Paris

Here we see another of the paintings featuring Joséphine’s wonderful gowns with a paisley influence in her custom designed pattern. As in the previous post, the fabric reflects her love of flowers. This time her colors are more intense. Note her tiny slipper in juxtaposition to all the surrounding heaviness. Trés demure.

Joséphine’s wonderful gowns with a paisley influence

Joséphine’s gown with a paisley influence

Fabric Design: Joséphine Bonaparte at Musée du Luxembourg, Paris

Here we have a portrait of Joséphine in one of her gowns featuring her fabric designs or of those in her hire. The pattern reflects her love of florals but used in a unique pattern which closely resembles what we know as paisley today. The French words for paisley are boteh and palme. The origins of paisley are from India and Pakistan. For reference, Joséphine was crowned Empress in the 1804. Per Wikipedia:

Local manufacturers in Marseilles began to mass-produce the patterns via early textile printing processes at 1640. England, circa 1670, and Holland, in 1678, soon followed. This, in turn, provided Europe’s weavers with more competition than they could bear, and the production and import of printed paisley was forbidden in France by royal decree from 1686 to 1759. However, enforcement near the end of that period was lax, and France had its own printed textile manufacturing industry in place as early at 1746 in some locales. Paisley was not the only design produced by French textile printers; the demand for paisley which created the industry there also made possible production of native patterns such as toile de Jouy.

The fabrics for the Empress were, of course, custom designs.



Joséphine with Paisley

Joséphine with Paisley

Joséphine Bonaparte at Musée du Luxembourg, Paris

Empress Josephine has a fascinating biography but we will be delving into her contributions to the decorative arts. She had tremendous resources and a huge appreciation for beauty. In addition to her designs for fabrics, clothing, and jewelry, she showed tremendous interest in designing her interiors. Well traveled, she created a huge art collection and then commissioned work reflecting her love of nature and her gorgeous gardens. There will be examples of her contributions in upcoming posts. 

Here is a photo of a painting portraying Josephine and her children in their lush surroundings. Their apparel reflects Josephine’s feminine love of beauty and her attention to detail.

Wandering the streets of Paris

While wandering in the 6th arrondissement in Paris, we came across this interesting art shop displaying these two wonderful paintings in the window. There is something very special about these works. They simply speak to you. The artist is Gilles Sacksick, a multi-talented award winning Impressionist of today. His biography can be found at gillessacksick.com. Enjoy!  
Gilles Sacksick fruit bowl
Gilles Sacksick fruit bowl 2

The Rent Table

We recently found ourselves asking, “why is it called a rent table?” and this is what we learned: The “rent” table, as the name suggests, would be used at a large country estate for the management of the rent collection from the estate tenants. The numbered drawers around the rotating frieze were also sometimes marked with letters of the alphabet and would be used to order the paperwork and ledgers while the secure locked compartment in the center of the table top provided safe storage for the monies paid.

A French Bagues 6 Light Gilt Iron Chandelier

France 1930

A French Bagues 6 light gilt iron chandelier with glass element covering center shaft and tole bobeches inset with crystal beads, the frame draped with crystal beads and drops. The Bagues Company, founded in 1840 in Paris by Noel Bagues, originally produced bronze fittings for churches. The advent of electricity in the nineteenth century moved the company toward the production of lighting. A reputation for the quality and style of its designs soon followed. Bagues lighting graced “La Chambre de la Reine” at Versailles, as well as the French Salon at Claridges Hotel in 1909 and the Dorchester hotel. Candelabra were commissioned for the Paris Ritz. La Maison Bagues, based in France, has been making fine furniture and lighting since 1840. The firm specializes in exquisite chandeliers and sconces, and is considered by many to be the premier purveyors of lighting in the world. They gained recognition during the 1940s for their unique bronze bamboo tables.