A Matter of Choice

“la Chapelle des Gicons – la  Mère Eglise”

It’s just a small Roman chapel that sits on a “promontoire” which means a dream location… in the French Alps. From the outside one will note that the tower has no tiles, nor slates, but is built in solid masonry, in contrast, the radiating chapels which have thatched roofing. The strongest next to the most care demanding roofs united in one building …

Inside the chapel there are two Alters one specifically dedicated to Marie.

Principal Alter

Side Alter: of “Marie” the dominant colour is red which is unusual

Meanwhile the Alters have been dismantled, Stored and have been restored.

The principal Alter

The Alter of Marie

Samples for the colouring and the metallic backgrounds had to be made for the Architects of Historic Monuments to choose from. At this stage the samples focus on the metallic ground, 6 samples  were produced in 3 different metallic grounds. From each of these metallic grounds a sample was painted with a red flower and one with bleu flower when the metallic ground is chosen it’s easy to adapt the colours afterwards. The painting is in the early 18 century tradition.

Classic Gilding

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Flat Silver-gilding

And Flat Silver-gilding with a yellowish varnish

This is where we are presently and awaiting the dicision of “les Monuments de France and la Drac” and who else ?

Anyone’s Guess

As Always

Fred

Giltleather Altar cloth

This is the Altar of St Martins Church in Vic-en-Bigorre

Here under the draped Altar cloth is replaced by a Gilt-leather Antependium, mind you its only photo-shopped picture, yet it tells the story.

Some examples of Lutson Gilt-leather alterantives to a fabric Altar Cloth: Double Damask: Gilded and hand painted Antependium

Fleurance: Tender colours on a silvered ground

Marot: Full Polychrome

 

All the designs for Lutson Gilt-leather Altercloth’s are traditional 17th and 18th century designs, they don’t carry specific symbols, they were not made for a specific Religion nor for any Christian denomination which makes our Gilt-leather suitable for all situations where one wishes create a setting with a great decorative impact.

Lutson leathers:  Custom Made

As Always

Fred

 

Larvick Museum Chairs / Lages Upholsterers / Lutson Leathers

The Baroque chairs as they came from Larvick Museum, Norway.

What happened to the Larvick chairs at the Lages upholsterers facility in Nora Sweden.

 

This is Master Leif and behold, he means business !

 

Master Leif attacking precious Lutson leathers with his hammer !

After hours of removing all the sick internals, putting in new springs, horse-hair, stuffing and canvas, after hours of cutting with dexterity and hammering like mad, but alert and vigilant so the hand and the hammer do what the mind orders. Its time for Mistress Annika to appear, sharp eyed to judge the work done.

Leif worked hard, Annika inspected severly and found the work excellent !

Mistress Annika taking the pose.

 

A detail: note the nice trimming cut from the excess of a panel its perfectly positioned and hold in place with the appropriated copper studs.

 

The Lages Team, top upholsterers !

 

As Always

Fred

 

 

Larvik Museum Norway

Larvik Museum,

The Panel above was made for Larvik Museum few years ago.  Its function was to show a posible renovation for a set of chairs which needed care, also to induce fund raising for this project.

The sample panel was dispayed in our catalogue and franckly I thought the project dead. This order proves I have to reconsider the defenition of “dead”!  As this seemingly dead the project, was after all alive, as in a SiFi movie.

I didn’t make pictures during the manufacturing process, till … the thought downed to do so and indeed I took 2 pictures while my camera can store a 1000 pictures, maybe i’m not a strong commercial thinker after all ?

The panels were ordered by Lages AB our Swedish distributor and upholsterers  working for hertitage and interior designers.  https://www.lagestapetserarverkstad.se/

Once the chairs have found their place in the Larvik Museum I hope to get more pictures, which I will be glad to share in a following posting. https://vestfoldmuseene.no/larvik-museum/

As Always

Fred

Reliquary / Devotio Bologna

Devotio Bologna 17 – 19 February

We participate to this event which proclaims to be multi-confessional but in reality is mainly Roman Catholic.

Obviously our goal is to promote our gilt leather. Historically gilt leather was used as altar pieces or to make some liturgical garment. Since gilt leather is quite a rare product for over a century, the demand from the church collapsed, our aim is to (humbly try to) restore this demand.

We will propose an altar piece and a reliquary.

The concept is from Lutson, the cabinet maker is Adèle Enjolras http://adele-ebeniste.toile-libre.org/ she also produced  the technical drawing. The box is made of solid chestnut 25mm thick, the framing is made of walnut, her work is mm sharp.

Adèle in her workshop
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The inside of the reliquary is gilded, on the far end hangs a crystal cross, two windows allow to see the relic, which is protected form exterior elements by the solid construction.

As I previously said, zero tolerance, all neat and sharp

When elaborating the concept of the reliquary we thought it had to respond to high standards.

It had to be of generous proportions, build by human hands and made out of natural materials it had to be solid like a safe, made with precision and care, it had to be precious inside and outside, ready to harbor a relic.

To offer it a last worthy residence.

As Always

Fred

 

 

 

 

Gilt Leather in Old Master Paintings – but not only !

Gillis van Tilborgh the Younger, born in Brussels 1625. He is famous for his genre paintings, interior scenes and portraits.

The “Vlaamsche Kamer” (Flemish room) could be compared to a parlour.  In these important houses they were often oak paneled rooms some combined the oak paneling with gild leather tapestries between dado and corniche other rooms were lined with gilt leather tapestries from plinth to corniche, for some of his paintings this setting was chosen.

Jan Siberechts a contemporary and friend of Gillis van Tilborgh has a reputation as a landscapes painter but as accomplished master he is a great portraitist too.

On a more humorous note: here a stunning portrait of …. my dog in front of his gilt leather tapestry. By Thierry Poncelet

As Always

Fred

 

 

Gilt Leather Alter for the St Peter church of Vic-Fezensac

Regularly we are asked to supply Gilt leather for alter pieces (Antependium).

As here in the St Peter church of Vic Fezensac.

The four sides of the alter are covered with leather.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Front covered with Marot

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The back being covered with Abondance

The sides are covered with our Lauderdale.

This is a small alter which allows easy picking-up and re-positioning.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Hope you enjoyed this

As Always

Fred

Gilt Leather At Levens Hall, cuir de cordoue, goudleer, guadamecies, kinkarakawa

MD37027 PG26

Gilt Leather at Levens Hall

The Parrot Panel .

In the late eighties we were introduced to Michael Abbott who became our UK agent, a real gentleman and one of these few without whom we wouldn’t be around making gilt leather any longer.

Shortly after we met, Michael introduced us to a famous Pimlico Road antiques dealer and decorator, the man himself a nonchalant, laid-back, aristocratic aura.
The showroom, loaded with a mix of unusual objects and top antiques, a harmonious, calculated, masculine chaos.

All things I like. To me an interior has to have the three A’s, Antiques Art Architecture without these its … complicated to make something interesting, imposing or even joyful. Imposing as I believe one becomes humble and relax in the presence a genial mix of the three A’s.

We were asked to reproduce a design which he had in his archives, having agreed on terms we went happily to work.
Once the mould ready, cast in bronze and impossible to handle. The modest production started.
It was the first time we set eyes on this design, but than again there are so many designs dating from this period. And research in these days was …..well different, not with the click of the mouse !

When supplied, part of the panels were used to line the walls of the showroom window. No pictures available, yet for us something never to forget.

Working on the archive material provided by our client we noted some irregularities in the background ornament, so far so good.

Later we came across this design as it appeared in an article about a restoration of the ancient gilt leather of the Deanery in Zele Belgium a small town nearby our hometown Ghent.

A closer examination of the design in Zele allowed us to conclude that it was not only the same design but that the leathers were printed on the same mould as they have same irregularities. Thus originating from the same workshop. Besides this, one could see from the quality of the gilding and the way they were painted that they originate from the same workshop

All well, till this very same design appeared in several English movies and series  , “the Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Wives and Daughters and many others all shot at Levens Hall. Stylistically its the same panel from the same workshop, a closer look at the background ornament shows the same marks, they were embossed on the same mould ! http://www.levenshall.co.uk/

 

21.02.07_After_Conservation_054

Levens Hall gilt leather restored by the Leather Conservation Center Northampton UK

http://www.leatherconservation.org/

Remarkable here is that this design was issued by one gild leather workshop, as we know that some designs were produced by almost all the gilt leather workshops. The quality of the work makes this workshop a good one, this also is to be noted as some workshops were not very much regarding to the quality of their work.

At the end of the day the question that remains is where was this design produced.
Two locations in the UK against one in Flanders do not tell the story.
One thing is for sure, the workshop produced quality leathers.

The reproductions made for the eccentric antiques dealer ? Made in Ghent, Flanders.

 

Parrot 75 X 59 cmThe Parrot Panel reproduction by Lutson

 Left, the original panel, right the reproduction by Lutson

Tulips on Hodsoll panelThe tulips in this panel were painted in two different ways here the other version on a pale gilded ground

 

As Always
Fred

 

Heerenveen “Tuymelaarhuis” Gilt Leather / Goudleer / Cuir de Cordoue

Tuymelaarhuis Heerenveen

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Mr. Wiebren Dijkstra

Hanging onto his paint brush on his shaky scaffold.

Without Wiebren this project would not have seen daylight.

Thank you, Wiebren !

This house goes back to the 16th century and was modified during the course of time,

the last remodeling was around 1750.

It always amazes me to see buildings this old in such good condition, typical northern Europe !

The more you wander to the south the quicker buildings seem to wear.

Our place dates form 1850 and was sort of a ruin already.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Here the order is well on its way,

the flowers were painted in the 18th century tradition.

The leathers painted and hanging to dry before the antiquing is applied.

The colours and the gilding were made to the customers specifications.

IMG_0658

IMG_0654

 IMG_0656

IMG_0660

 Dutch professional magazine Eisma’s published an editorial on the subject.

http://www.schildersvak.nl

It shows the trimming and gluing of the leathers.

A rare opportunity to practice your Dutch….

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Wiebren assited by Pauline Kaan

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The indisputable proof that hanging the leathers is easy and fun !

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A link to Wiebren Dijkstra ‘s site.

http://www.wdijkstra.nl/

Thank you for reading me.

Best Wishes

Fred

More Swedish Baroque Chairs

For those who follow the blog, you surly have found several postings about our Swedish distributors Annika and Leif Arvidsson form Lages AB. As upholsterers they work for antiques dealers, museums and whom ever wishes to have their chairs done by expert hands.
Earlier this year we worked with them on a large set of Baroque chairs.

  The whole set of chairs

G2Your educated eye will note that there are 2 different models of chairs.

This pair is 18 century Swedish baroque.

G1

This one here is a late 19th century Swedish Baroque chair.

G4Obviously this is a more elaborated  sort of Baroque.

The Chairs have been upholstered with a design form our collection the “Abondance”

Annika & Leif have upholstered a set of chairs for the Hallwyl museum Stockholm http://hallwylskamuseet.se/en we made the reproductions of the leather they needed using the original embossing plate owned by the museum. Swedish television made a reportage about the story and the upholstery work done in the studios of Lages AB.  But at first, Annika shows how patiently she makes her own Gilt Leather…..

http://www.svt.se/nyheter/regionalt/orebro/norahantverkare-klar-om-stolar-till-halwylska

Enjoy, its time to exercise your Swedish

As Always

Fred