Double Damask is one of those designs sitting in our collection for ages, there is hardly any demand for it and I wonder why. It was one of the first designs we made after we got hold of the book “Spanish Leather” by John W. Waterer published by Fabre and Fabre in 1971 Plate 61 shows 2 pictures of the design
Mr Waterer analyses and describes so well the pattern that I just have his text copied 😉
As he says the leather panel in V&A is tooled leather, which we modified so to add the embossing. Why ?
Anyone’s guess I don’t remember.
Its a tricky design, difficult to explain I’ll try to illustrate, stay with me !
Anyone can see the chairs are in perfect condition and that leathers seats are all but gone. This type of gilt leather was originally part of a wall covering. Circa 1735 it is installed and is the proud of the house, then fashion changes and the room is redecorated, the once precious leathers are stored in the attic, where a leak in the roof …… etc etc (fiction) than somewhere around 1810 they are recovered by an amazed granddaughter some leathers are reinstalled in a hallway some turn into a screen and some find their final destiny on chairs. This is what you are looking at now, the story is fiction but the senario is good.
Time to set to work !
The pattern on the chairs is the Marot panel in a polychrome version. The Marot is a classic design we have in collection, the panel as shown here above is gilded in a light silver-gilding the birds had a coat of shellac and the panel is antiqued so to down-tone the shine.
Now its time to add antiquing to bind all colours and to down-tone the shine even more.
OMG they have been difficult to make decent pictures of !
The Plaisance was inpired by a circa 1750 design which is to be seen in the Museum Plantin Moretus, Antwerp. The Plaisance is very close to the original panel we magnefied the design, the result is that the flowers are large, thus more detailed and the stems and leaves are stronger and more detailed as well.
— The sample panel was made over 25 years ago it’s to be seen at John Nelson Inc our Miami distributor whom placed the order.
— Here under the panel we supplied J. Nelson Inc.
— The A to Z of the painting of a poly-chrome panel
— Above: The panel is embossed, gilded and antiqued this is the basis on which we start painting.
— The basis colour of the leaves is applied.
— All the basis colours of the flowers are applied
— Again several stages further: the flowers have been painted and the leaves had some shades applied.
— Now the nerving of the leaves and highlights on leaves and stems are painted.
— To bond the colours and downtone the gilding we antique the panels once more
— The panel on the left side of the picture above is a new panel the one on the right side is the original panel… All done, now packing !