When I opened the drawer to begin cataloguing what was inside, I must admit that, going by the title of the drawer alone, I didn’t really know what to expect. However, of all things, I certainly didn’t expect to find what I did. As well as a previously blogged about design for a carpet featuring a Can Can dancer, this collection of designs has got to be the most entertaining in the archive.
The drawer contained, amongst other things, a pattern for a rug featuring Robert Burns and emblems of his native Ayrshire, as well as a pattern for a carpet to commemorate the investiture of Charles as Prince of Wales, which took place in 1969. But the real stars of the drawer are the carpet designs featuring pictorial landmarks. World famous landmarks featured include the Rialto Bridge in Venice, Tower Bridge in London, the Colosseum in Rome and Mount Everest. All are design patterns rather than sketches, most consist of two seperate parts and all are very large. Most date from the 1950s to the 1980s, and some have been annotated as having been made specifically for the Japanese market in the 1960s.
Unfortunately though, other than basic weaving instructions, there is little contextual information provided on the designs. No contract details, design names or qualities, means we know very little about these designs, who they were made by or who comissioned them.
As well as the world landmarks above, the drawer also featured a design entitled Roman Girl. Like the others it also specifies that it was “made for Japan in 1960s” so also seems to have been made for the Japanese market, or perhaps was commissioned by a private buyer in the country. Reminiscent of the tradition in art for works like Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus or other classical, voluptuous nudes to be hung, generally in bedrooms, for the pleasure of their owner, whoever commissioned this carpet in the 1960s seems to have extended this tradition to include carpeting too.
The subject of the pattern below, also in two parts, is as yet unidentified. Be it a bridge or part of a ship, if you have any ideas as to what or where it’s supposed to be, please do let us know!
Categories: Archive Services (GUAS)