Savonnerie Carpet

Reference Number: 17168
Size: 14 ft 2 in x 11 ft 9 in
Origin: France
Woven: Early 20th Century

Savonnerie Carpet_17168


Under the direction of Pierre Dupont and Simon Lourdet carpet production commenced in France in the early 17th Century. In 1608, a workshop was set up in the Louvre, followed by the establishment of a larger facility in a former soap factory (the origin of the Savonnerie name) outside of Paris in 1627. All of the carpets produced here were wool pile carpets, mostly woven on cotton and jute foundation threads. Production flourished under the direction of Jean-Baptiste Colbert in the mid-17th Century, with all designs requiring the prior approval of an appointed painter from the Royal Academy. The first person to hold this position, Charles LeBrun, had previously painted the ceilings in the Grand Galerie of the Louvre. The weavings of this manufactory remained the property of the Crown during this period, and were considered to be amongst the grandest of French diplomatic gifts. These products were eventually offered for sale to the public at the end of the century in an attempt to raise capital. The designs were executed in conservative French floral patterns that evolved slowly over the centuries with later examples being more informal and lighter in color.

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