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Curtain, 1774–1811

This is a Curtain. It was printed by Bromley Hall and after Jean-Baptiste Pillement. It is dated 1774–1811 and we acquired it in 2016. Its medium is cotton and its technique is copperplate printed. It is a part of the Textiles department.

This textile’s whimsical chinoiserie scene was inspired by the work of French artist Jean-Baptiste Pillement (1728 – 1808), and printed by Bromley Hall, a prominent textile printing manufactory in Middlesex, England. Pillement’s illustrations inspired many late-18th-century textile designs. Although this design features many of the artist’s signature motifs – oversized flowers, a winding staircase and a fanciful pagoda – its specific design source has not yet been identified. The pattern appears in a book of Bromley Hall patterns dating from 1760 to 1800, but its date can be further narrowed to 1774 and 1811 by three blue threads that appear in the selvedge; British law mandated this feature for cottons produced for export.
Printing with indigo was a technical challenge which was not mastered in England until the mid-18th century, at about the same time as the development of copperplate printing. These highly desirable fabrics were called ‘china blue’, referring to the craze for Chinese export porcelain.

This object was donated by American Textile History Museum. It is credited American Textile History Museum Collection.

Its dimensions are

H x W: 195.6 × 71.1 cm (6 ft. 5 in. × 28 in.)

Cite this object as

Curtain, 1774–1811; Printed by Bromley Hall (United Kingdom); cotton; H x W: 195.6 × 71.1 cm (6 ft. 5 in. × 28 in.); American Textile History Museum Collection; 2016-35-101

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1108711749/ |title=Curtain, 1774–1811 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=15 October 2019 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>