Napoleon III Aubusson Carpet
Reference Number: 17064
Size: 16 ft 8 in x 12 ft 4 in
Woven: Last Qtr 19th Century
The towns of Aubusson and Felletin on the River Creuse near Limoges in central France have produced rugs and carpets since the 18th Century. Up to that point, this area had produced tapestries for several centuries. In 1743, the King's Council established carpet workshops under royal warrant to meet a growing demand for knotted carpets from the orient. This operation was privatized in 1746, and by 1750, with the demand waning for copies of oriental carpets, new designs were created illustrating the French style. Some of these patterns were simpler interpretations of those found in the Savonnerie carpets currently being manufactured in Paris, still utilizing central medallions, garlands, rosettes, scrolling acanthus leaves, flowering vases, and other assorted flora. The overwhelming majority of carpets woven here were made in a flat-woven or tapestry technique, manufactured on a horizontal loom. The subtle ton-sur-ton coloration of this carpet adds a level of sophistication to its classical design.
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