Archaeology And Art
ARCHAEOLOGY AND ART The archaeology of shuttle-weaving shows that for ages the use of a loom for weaving plain, as distinct from ornamental or figured textiles, whether of fibres or of spun threads, has been practically universal, whilst the essential points of its construction have been almost uniform in character. An early stage in its development, anterior probably to that when the spinning of threads had been invented, is represented by the loom or frame (see fig. 29) used by a native of Sarawak to make a textile with shreds of From Roth's Natives of Sarawak, by permission of Truslove and Hanson.
FIG. 29. Loom from Sarawak. grass. As will be seen, the shreds of grass for the warp are divided into groups by a flat sword-shaped implement which serves as the batten (Latin spatha). The shuttle is passed above it, leaving a weft of grass in between the warp; the batten is then moved upwards and compresses the weft into the warp; this method of pressing the weft upwards was usually employed by Egyptian and Greek weavers for their linen textiles of beautiful quality. Fig. 30 gives us an Indian FIG. 30. Indian Hill Tribesman's Loom.
Hill tribesman weaving with spun threads; but here we find the loom fitted with rudely constructed headles, by which the weaver lifts and lowers alternate ranks of warp threads so that he may throw his shuttle-carried weft across and between them. Besides the headles there is a hanging reed or comb, and between the reeds of it the warp threads are passed and fastened to a roller or cylinder. After throwing his shuttle once or twice backwards and forwards, the weaver pulls the comb towards himself, thereby pressing his weft and warp together, thus making the textile which he gradually winds from time to time on to the roller. This advance in the construction of the loom is also virtually of undateable age; and except for more substantial construction, there is little difference in main principles between it and the 1 medieval loom of fig. 31. With such looms, and by arranging coloured warp threads , in a given order and then weaving into I them coloured shuttle or weft threads, simple j textiles with stripes and chequer patterns FIG. 31. Medieval Loom, from a Cut could be, and were, by Jost Amman; middle of the 16th produced; but textiles cel ur y- of complex patterns and textures necessitated the mor complicated apparatus that belongs to a later stage the evolution of the loom. Fig. 32 is from a Chine drawing, illustrating the description given in a Chinese book published in 1210 on the art of weaving intricate desig The traditions and records of such figured weavings are fa older than the date of this book. As spun silken threads wer brought into use, so the development of looms with increasing numbers of headles and other mechanical facilities for this sort of weaving seems to have started. But as far back as 269 B.C. the Chinese were the only cultivators of silk, 1 the delicacy and fineness of which must have postulated possibilities in FIG. 32. Chinese Loom for Figured Weaving (Photo).
 E. Pariset, Histoire de la soie (Paris, 1862).
weaving far beyond those of looms in which grasses, wools and flax were used. It therefore is probably correct to credit the Chinese with being the earlier inventors of looms for weaving figured silks, which in course of time other nations (acquainted only with wool and flax textiles) saw with wonder. At the comparatively modern period of 300 B.C. Chinese dexterity in fine-figured weaving had become matured and was apparently in advance of any other elsewhere. Designs were being woven by the Chinese of the earlier Han Dynasty 206 B.C. as elaborate almost as those of the present day, with dragons, phoenixes, mystical bird forms, flowers and fruits. 1 At that time even Egypt, Assyria or Babylonia, Greece and Rome, seem to have been only learning of the fact that there was such a material as silk. 1 Their shuttle-weaving had been and was then concerned with spun wool and flax and possibly some cotton, whilst the ornamentation of their textiles, although sparkling on occasion with golden threads, was dene apparently not by shuttle-weaving but by either embroidery or a sort of compromise between darning and weaving from which tapestry weaving descended (see TAPESTRY). The range of their colours was limited, reds, purples and yellows being the chief; and their shuttle- weaving was principally concerned with plain stuffs, and in a much smaller degree with striped, spotted and chequered fabrics. Remains of these, whether made by Egyptians thousands of years B.C., by Scandinavians of the early Bronze Age, by lake dwellers, by Aztecs or Peruvians long before the Spanish Conquest, display little if any technical difference when compared with those woven by nomads in Asia, hill tribes in India and natives in Central Africa and islands of the Pacific. Such ornamental effect as is seen in them depends upon the repetition of stripes or very simple crossing forms, still this principle of repetition is a prominent factor in more intricate designs which are shuttlewoven in broad looms and lengths of stuff.
The world's apparent indebtedness to the Chinese for knowledge of figured shuttle-weaving leads to some consideration of their early overland commerce westwards. About 200 B.C. during the Han Dynasty Chinese trade had extended beyond inner Asia to the confines of the Graeco-Parthian empire, then at its zenith, and the protection of the route by which the Seres (Chinese) sent their merchandise was fully recognized as a matter of importance. Seventy years later the emperor of China sent a certain Chang Kien on a mission to the Indo-Scythians; and according to his records the people as far west as Bactria (adjacent to the Graeco-Parthian territory) were knowing traders, and amongst other things understood the preparation of silk. Chinese weavings had for some time been coming into Persia, and doubtless instigated the more skilled weavers there to adapt their shuttle looms in course of time to the weaving of stuffs with greater variety of effects than had been hitherto obtained by them; and into Persian designs were introduced details taken not only from Chinese textiles, but also from sculptured, embroidered and other ornament of Graeco-Parthian and earlier Babylonian styles. In A.p. 97 Chinese enterprise in still furthering their trade relations with the Far West is at least suggested by the fact that envoys from the emperor of China to Rome actually reached the eastern shores of the Mediterranean, but turned back frightened by the Parthian accounts of the terrors of the sea voyage.
Early in the 3rd century A.D. Heliogabalus is reputed to have been amongst the first of the Roman emperors to wear garments entirely of silk (holosericum), which, if figured (as is not unlikely), were probably of Syrian or Persian manufacture. Sidonius Apollinaris (5th century) writes of Persian patterned stuffs, " Bring forth brilliant cushions and stuffs on which, produced by a miracle of art, we behold the fierce Parthian with his head turned back on a prancing steed; now escaping, now returning to hurl his spear, by turns fleeing from and putting to flight wild animals whom he pursues " a description quite appropriate to such silk weaving as that in fig. 33. A number of kindred pieces have been recovered of late years from Egyptian burial-places of the Roman period. The Persians of the Sassanian dynasty (3rd to 7th century) traded in silks with Romans and Byzantines; King Chosroes (about 570) encouraged the trade, and ornamental weaving seems to have been an industry of some standing at Bagdad and other towns north, east and south, e.g. Hamadan, Kazvin Kashan, Yezd Persepolis, etc. To the northwest of Persia and north of Syria lay the Byzantine region of Anatolia (now Asia Minor), some towns in which became noted for their fine weavings: the mass of the population there was well off in the 6th century, the country highly cultivated and prosperous, and justice fairly administered, 8 thus affording favourable conditions for an industry like ornamental weaving, which had been and was prospering in neighbouring Syrian districts.
1 See Chinese Art, by Stephen W. Bushell, C.M.G., B.Sc., M.D. (London, 1906), vol. ii. p. 95.
1 Aristotle describes the silk-worm and its cocoon. Virgil- Martial and late Roman writers (including Pliny) throw scarcely more light upon the use of silken stuffs than that they were of rarity and greatly prized by opulent Romans. Propertius (19 B.C.) writes of silken garments of varied tissue," and of Cynthia that " perchance she glistens in Arabian Silk."
'W. M. Ramsay, Studies in the History and Art of the Roman Empire (University of Aberdeen, 1906).
xxvm. 15 Between the 1st and 6th centuries A.D., then, knowledge of silk and its value in fine weaving was spreading itself, not only in the further western regions of Southern Asia, but also in Egypt, where Greek and Roman taste influenced the works of Copts or those FIG. 33. Syrian or Persian Silk Weaving of the 5th Century, natives who maintained old Egyptian traditions in technical handicrafts. Of peculiar interest in this connexion are fragments of flax (yellow and brown) woven with a comparatively elaborate texture, as well as in patterns (see fig. 34) which suggest an ordinary type of Roman pavement designs (3rd century and earlier), the basis of which is roundels linked together. Stuffs in which the style of FIG. 34. Syrian and Coptic Flax Weaving of the 5th or 6th Century.
patterns, though comparatively simple, is rather more Oriental, are of flax and wool, and the official robes of Roman consuls seem to have been of this character, and amongst other goods may have been made with small technical difference at Rome * or at Fostat (Cairo)
4 In 369 by order of the emperors Valens and Valentinian the making of textiles in which gold and silken threads were introduced was limited to women's workrooms or gynecia (see Codex of Theodosius, lib. x. tit. 21, lex i). In the 5th century the weaving of silken tunics and mantles was prohibited (Codex Theodosius, lib. x. tit. 21, lex 3).
or Alexandria or other towns in Lower Egypt as well as in Syria. Contemporaneously the development of similar weaving appears to FIG. 35. Syrian or Anatolian Silk Weaving of the 5th Century, with Samson and the Lion (repeated).
have been proceeding in Byzantine provinces, though perhaps not in so marked a way as when Justinian systematized sericulture 1 and still further stimulated shuttle-weaving in the town of Byzantium (Constantinople) itself in A.D. 552.
For examples of the elaborate figure weavings at that time we have to rely upon such as have been rescued in the service of archaeology from the oblivion of tombs and burial - places. The dates of some specimens can be fixed with almost certainty by means of nearly contemporary records, e.g. those of Sidonius Apollinaris and later Anastasius the Librarian; comparison and classification lead to almost conclusive inferences as to the dates of other examples. Broadly speaking, the . I earlier of these remains I (i.e. from about the |j 4th to the 7th century) ' seem to be either of r- j /- u Persian (Sassanian)
TI FIG -3 6 Byzantine Red Silk and gold manufacture and deThread Weaving of the 1ith century. Pairs si or of s ian and of lions and pairs of small birds. pSssibly Alexandrian 4 _ make. Christian subjects were occasionally introduced into the designs. Between the 7th and the 13th centuries Byzantine manufactures come to the fore, and it is difficult if not impossible now to draw a clear line between those of Roman-Byzantine, Perso- Byzantine and Moslem- 1 This virtually was the starting of sericulture in Europe.
1 Byzantine styles, though one may do so in respect of certain Mosler (Moorish and Saracenic) weavings, which have distinctive featur FIG. 37. Part of Silk Wrapping of the Emperor Charlemagne, possibly of Bagdad manufacture, gth Century, with Fanciful Elephant and Sacred Tree device in a Roundel.
Fig. 35, from a piece of sarcenet with repeated parallel series of Samsons and lions (or gladiators?), is probably sth-century Syrian or FIG. 38. Fragment of Byzantine Silk, mh Century, with Ogiva Framing about pairs of Birds, etc.
Anatolian ; of the same date are pieces with scenes of the Annunciation repeated in roundels, and with artistic birds and lions, in the treasury of the Sancta Sanctorum of the Chapel of St Lawrence : - the old Lateran Palace, Rome. Scriptural subjects 1 seem to be ,il of those which were condemned by Anatolian and Syrian rs of the Christian church as early as in the late 4th century, \steruis, bishop of Amasus, in denouncing the luxury of the rich in flaunting themselves in such inappropriately decorated silks, has Irft a most useful description of the subjects decorating them. A ne long maintained in Syrian and Byzantine patterns was that l>eatea roundels, within which other than scriptural subjects were wrought, e.g. hunters on horseback (as in fig. 33), fantastic animals and birds, singly or in pairs, confronting one another or back framing, composed of animals, birds and the like, formally treated and repeated vertically and horizontally, as in fig. 36, which is from a silk and gold thread shuttle-weaving classified as Byzantine of the 11th century manufacture. But this style of composition also occurs in a Sassanian or Syrian silk of the 5th century at Le Mans, 1 and again in the Cope of St Maxim at Chinon, which is powdered with panthers. Conventional eagles (reminiscent perhaps of the Roman Eagle), with scale patterns on their breasts and wings, are woven in the wrappings reputed to have been given by the Empress Placidia for the corpse of St Germain (448) preserved at the church of St Eusebius at Auxerre. Some likeness in style may be detected between these latter and a fragment of one of the wrappings of St Cuthbert (d. 688) at Durham, though in this case the elaborate ornamentation is set within a roundel. Prior to the discovery of woven silks in the Akhmin cemeteries, the periods to which tradition and association had ascribed the Auxerre and Durham specimens were considered too early; but there now seems to be far less reason to question that ascription. Fig. 37 is from part of a silken wrapping of Charlemagne (early 9th century) now at Aix- laChapelle. It bears a Greek inscription of the names of Peter, governor of Negropont, and Michael, chamberlain of the Imperial Chambers, and this is taken by some authorities as evidence that the weaving was made at Byzantium. On the other hand, Eginhard, Charlemagne's secretary, has written of gifts, including rich textiles presented in his day by Haroun al Raschid to the emperor, 4 and a fabric like that in question might have been made quite possibly even at Baghdad in the 9th century or earlier. In the 11th century amongst the handicraftsmen in the city of Byzantium were many skilled native and foreign weavers; and their designs generally appear to reflect the style of earlier Persianesque and Syrian taste. |- About the 12th century the wellused pattern scheme of roundels became more or less superseded by one of continuous ovals, of ogival framings (see fig. 38), contemporary with which are Saracenic patterns based on hexagonal and star-shape frames. Within these new varieties of pattern framings recur the Byzantine and Persianesque pairs of birds, animals, etc. But distinct from these is the more restricted style which has been mentioned. It had arisen under the influence for the most part of the Fatimy Khalifs, not only in Syria and Alexandria but also in Sicily and Patterns of this Moslem or Saracenic type are usually FIG. 39. Specimens of various Small Loom Weavings between the 7th and 15th centuries.
A. Part of a narrow band or orphrey woven in gold and silk threads with a Latin inscription s ut; h ern Spam.
along the edges. German work of the 13th century. Moslem or Sarac B. Part of a broad band or orphrey woven in gold and silk threads with figures of the Crucifixion composed of a succession of parallel and the. Annunciation (?). It bears an inscription, Odilia me fecit. It is probably German bands narrow and wide containing work of the 13th century. . Kui ? c inscriptions, groups of small C and D. Specimens of Cologne orphreys woven in silk and gold threads; C bears a Latin inscrip- lntncate geometrical devices, and tion, and the faces of the Virgin and Child are embroidered. occasionally conventional amma s E. Part of a narrow band woven in gold and silk threads with chevron spaces filled with delicate and birds. A I2tn-centurvexample scroll ornament, among which are occasional animal and bird devices. Possibly English or ; tn ' s cla s ' pattern has been given French work of the I 3 th century. elsewhere (see BROCADE, fig. l).
F. Part of a narrow band or clavus from a Coptic tunic of the 9th or 10th century. ,, Almena, Malaga, Grenada and Seville were notable Moorish weaving places in Spain for such patterned silks and stuffs as these; and even after the Christian conquest of Grenada at the end of the to back, frequently with a sacred tree device* between them. A piece of Sassanian silk, probably of the 6th century, shows a gryphon practically identical with that sculptured on the patterned saddlecloth of a king (Chosroes II.?) in the archway to the garden of the king's palace at Kermchah. Less common perhaps are patterns, without roundel or other 1 The silken wrappings of St Wilibald (700-786), a founder of the church at Eichstatt, where they are still preserved, are woven with repeated roundels, each enclosing a Daniel between two lions, and are perhaps Byzantine of the 8th century.
1 See Sir George Birdwood's chapter on Knop and Flower pattern in his Industrial Arts of India, in which this device of ancient Assyrian art is discussed as well as its relation and that of the horn, a fanlike symbol, to cognate ornament in Greek, Roman and even Renaissance art.
15th century this city retained its celebrity for silks woven " 4 la Moresque."
In Sicily no similar survival of Saracenic influence seems to have been as strongly maintained, notwithstanding the numerous Saracen weavers at work in the island for years before the Royal factory for silk weaving came to be organized at Palermo under Norman supremacy. According to the usual story, Roger of Sicily, or Roger Guiscard, who in 1 147 made a successful raid on the shores of Attica, and took Athens, Thebes and Corinth, carried off as prisoners a number of Greek (Byzantine) weavers and settled them at Palermo in the factory known as the H6tel des Tiraz. A mixture of Byzantine ' See Abfctdaire d'arctiMogie (June 1854). 4 Recherchfi, etc., by Francisque Michel, i. 40.
and Saracenic styles of textile patterns ensued ; and this peculiarity portantpart, and possibly was applicable to early brocades. Carmoca is demonstrated in many of the rich fabrics attributed to south and or Carmuk (Arab Kamkla, from the Chinese Kimka also brocade) north Italian weavers from the 12th century onwards. From Palermo j was another handsome stuff corresponding in a way with Indian Apparel of a Dalmatic woven in Venice late in the with the Virgin in glory.
century, Part of , Orphrey with the Virgin and Child (Siena weaving, 1425-1450).
Part of Orphrey, with Annunciation (Florentine w ing, late 15th century).- FIG.
the art of ornamental weaving in this style soon extended into the mainland, and from Apulia a bishop of St Evroul in Normandy is mentioned as having obtained a number of silken goods in the 12th century. From the 13th century onwards Lucca, Florence, Milan, Genoa and Venice became important centres, using not only imported silk, but also such as was being then cultivated in Italy, for sericulture had become an Italian industry early in the 13th century. Wandering Saracenic and Byzantine weavers even before that time had strayed or been taken to work at places in Germany, France and Britain, but the output of their productions in northern countries was almost infinitesimal as compared with that of the | far greater Italian output, nevertheless they were sowing the seeds of a harvest to be reaped centuries later by these more northerly European countries.
To the influence of these early sporadic weayings we seem to trace a distinctive class of work, which was done by inmates of monasteries and convents as well as by devout ladies, in little looms, for use as stoles, maniples, orphreys and similar narrow bands. A rhyming chronicler of the 13th century paraphrases the older record by Eginhard of the skill of Charlemagne's daughters in silk weaving, " ouvrer en soie en taulieles " or small looms. 1 The illustrations in fig. 39 give varieties of this class of work between the 7th and 1sth centuries, for which Cologne especially seems to have become famous in the 15th century. Venice also made work of corresponding character: and the designs were evidently furnished by or directly adapted from the compositions of such artists as those who produced the notable German and Venetian woodcuts of the 15th century (fig. 40).
Whilst the bulk of the Italian patterned stuffs issuing in great lengths from large looms were of silk, a good many also were woven in wools, or wools intermixed with silks. The earlier of the silk textiles Persian, Syrian and Byzantine were of the nature of sarcenet and taffetas; later in development are satins, damask satins, brocades, and still later (i.e. about the end of the 14th century) come Italian velvets and cloths of gold, which quite transcended the ancient and less substantial attalic cloths of the early Roman period. Medieval inventories and records contain many names of textiles, but the exact technical meaning of several of them is uncertain. Csndal, Sandal, Syndonus seem to relate to such materials as sarcenet or taffeta : zetani, from low Latin, is held by some writers to be of the same class as samit or examite, so called because the weft threads were only caught at every sixth thread of the warp; damask, now regarded as a special class of textile, the ornamentation of which depends upon contrasting sheens in the surface of the stuff, whether of silk or linen, got its name from Damascus, much in the same way as Baudekin comes from Baldak, or Baghdad. Baudekin, and an apparently somewhat earlier word ciclatoun, seem to have been general terms for rich-looking textiles, in which gold thread played an im- 1 See Recherches, etc., by Francisque Michel, i. 93-94.
Kincobs. Velvet (Italian vellulo shaggy) is veluiau in French documents ot the 14th century, and is a finely piled material of silk, and on that account may have been called Samit, as the German word FIG. 41. Piece of North Italian Silk Weaving of the 14th century, with pattern planned on an ogival basis with fantastic birds, some of which are of a Chinese type, and Persianesque cone forms containing sham Arabic inscriptions.
Sammet implies velvet, as does the Russian Axamitt. Diaper (Italian diaspro, meaning patterned) was used not only to denote a regular and geometric patterning but in some cases a special sort of linen or silk. Muslin from Mosul, and gauze from Gaza., are two well-known and kindred textiles. Frequently one meets with odd phrases such as " silk of Brydges " (Bruges), " silk dornex " (from Dorneck), " sheets of raynes " (Rheims), and " fuschan in Appules " (Naples fustian).
Many of the foregoing stuffs are identifiable by textures peculiar to them; this is, however, not so as regards their ornamental patterns, for these are frequently interchanged, the same class of patterns iring in satin damasks, velvets and brocades. This is particularly the case with I3th- and 14th-century Italian stuffs. In the patterns of these, as previously suggested, are strong traces of Saraiviiic and Byzantine motives, intermingled with badges, heraldic devices, human figures, eagles, falcons, hounds, lions, harts, boards, leopards, rays of light, Persianesque pine cone and cloud forms, and even Chinese mystical birds, symmetrically distributed, without framings, as a rule, though elaborations of the ogival frame or scheme are also met with, but less frequently (see fig. 41). Such fabrics, m ide in the main by Lucchese weavers, appear to have been traded in with other European countries. But besides trade records, there are others relating to Lucchese weavers who left their own town under stress of circumstances, civil wars and the like, to settle and work elsewhere, as in France and Flanders, during the Ijjth century. Nevertheless the northern parts of Italy were the fertile places for producing fine types of patterned textiles used by Italian and other FIG. 42. Damask and Brocade Silk Fabric, facture of the 15th century.
Italian manu- European courts and nobles: and if the art seriously dwindled in the town of Lucca, it flourished conspicuously, from the end of the 14th century and up to the beginning of the 10th century, in Venice, Bologna, Genoa, Florence and Milan. There was nothing similar to compete with it in France, Germany or England. The identification of its splendid varieties is made possible upon referring to contemporary paintings by Orcagna, Cnvelli, Spinello Aretino and later Italian masters, as well as to those of the Flemish School, Gheraet David, Mabuse, etc.
Of a specially distinct class, very dignified in effect, are patterns ol the 15th century based upon the repetition of conventional pentagonally constructed leaf panels, clearly defined in outline, each encircling a pomegranate or cone form around which radiate small leaves or blossoms; though they were more richly developed in superb velvets and cloths of gold, for which Florence, Venice and Genoa were famed, this type of design is also woven in less costly materials. A composite unusual and beautiful design of another kind is given in fig. 42. Repeated large leaf shapes can just be detected in it, but more remarkable are the bunches of radiating stalks of wheat-ears and cornflowers within them ; whilst about them, arranged in hexagonal trcllising, are leafy bars, small birds, crowns, pomegranates and other daintily depicted plant forms. This piece of damask combined with brocade weaving is of late 15th century manufacture: and after the opening of the next century the freedom towards realistic treatment, which we find here, enters into many of the Italian patterns. In some of them, however, an Ottoman or Anatolian feeling is apparent, as in fig. 43 from a figured silk which is considered to have been made in Venice. The chained dogs and birds in this design recall the rather more formal ones in Lucchese patterns of a hundred and fifty years earlier, whereas the lengthy serrated leaves and elongated flower devices charged with carnations and hyacinths depicted on a smaller scale are unmistakably Ottoman. Persian fabrics of rather thin silk material or taffetas like that of the original of this were also being woven with varieties of floral designs, as well as others portraying Persian stories. At this period there was considerable activity in weaving sumptuous stuffs at Broussa and Constantinople (fig. 44). Arabic and Turkish weavers often came over to be employed in Venice, blending Italian and Oriental characteristics into their designs.
In Spain during the early 16th century we have traces of HispanoMoresque influence in the overlapping and interlocking nondescript forms; but Spanish weavings are hardly comparable in quality with the Italian of the same time. In the middle of this century cloths of gold or of silver, with the pattern details raised in velvet and brocatelles of similar formal design were made in greater quantities in Italy for costumes of men and women. The frequent basis of most of the designs is the ogival framework already referred to, but it is much elaborated with detail and combined with the cone device of a previous century. The ornamentation of this style is purely conventional throughout, the various devices having little of the appearance of actual objects like fruit, leaves, etc.
The time, however, was close at hand when a more general reaction | was to set in, in the direction of designs representing forms very nearly as they actually look, an example of which occurs in fig. 45, with its leaf forms and crowns. This from a class of silk damask or lampas, which is kindred to brocatelle; a feature in lampas is that its ground is different in colour from that of the ornament on it, and as in the case of portions of brocatelles its texture is of taffeta or sarcenet quality. 1 At the end of the 16th century a peculiar type of pattern consists of repetitions in different positions of the same detail treated realistically or purely ornamentally, little if anything of quite the same character having been previously designed. Of such fig. 46, with its repeated realistic leafy FIG. 43. Piece of Venetian Silk Weavlogs variously placed, is ing showing Ottoman influence in the an example. The prin- design (16th century), ciple in the composition of -these patterns, but with a greater variety of conventional detail, is followed in French 1yth century examples. However, as soon as figured weaving became well organized in France at this time, a school of designers arose in that country who adopted a realism that predominated in French patterns during the succeeding 150 years, that is, from Louis XIV. to the end of the 18th century. Throughout this period French figured stuffs seem to surpass those of other countries. " If, " writes Monsieur Pariset, " any account is to be taken of the weavers during the lith and 15th centuries who made cloths and velvets of silk at Paris, Rouen, Lyons.Nimes and Avignon, it must be remembered that they were almost solely Italian emigrants from Lucca and Florence, who had fled their towns during troublous times. " By a charter granted by Francis I. to Lyons, foreign and native workmen were encouraged to promote the city's interests in trade and manufacture; still, it is not until the i?th century- that Lyons really asserts herself in producing fabrics possessing French taste and ornamentation. The more important designs were supplied by trained artists of whom Reval, a pupil of Le Brun, the first_principal of the Academic des Beaux Arts founded by Colbert in Paris (1648), Pillement and Philippe de la Salle in the 18th century, may be 'See Ornament in European Silks (London. 1899), p. 15- named. Their influence in the domain of fanciful, and at times extravagant realistic, floral patterns was widespread. Soon after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, in consequence of which thousands of Protestant weavers left France, factories for weaving silks and mixed materials with patterns imitating the successive French phases became organized at Spitalfields, in Cheshire, Yorkshire, Norfolk and elsewhere in England, as well as in Germany at Crefeld, Elberfeld, Barmen and Weissen.
Entirely distinct from what has already been discussed is a branch of artistic weaving concerned with the decoration of linens, that flourished notably in Italy towards the end of the 15th century and in the 16th century. From early times long and narrow Italian tablecloths were enriched with ornament of linen or cotton threads of a single colour, and Signora Isabella Erera has written at some FIG. 44. Ottoman (Anatolian) Silk and gold Thread Weaving of the 16th century, withogival framed ornament. The original is stated to have come from a sultana's tomb at Broussa or Constantinople.
length about them, 1 illustrating the result of her investigations with several examples culled from paintings by Pietro Lorenzetto of Siena In Leonardo da Vinci's (1340), by Ghirlandaja (1447-1490), etc. painting of the Last Supper, now in the Louvre, the border of the tablecloth is very like many examples of this sort of textile in the Victoria and Albert Museum, South Kensington. Their characteristic ornament, in rather heavy blue thread, consists of quaint animals and birds in pairs, which are evident derivations of those so often seen in Italo-Byzantine and Lucchese silks and brocades. Be- larly with Perugia. In the 16th century, work of similar style was produced, but it was lighter and flatter in texture and often done FIG. 45. Italian Silk Damask or Lampas, with purple ground and pattern of late 16th century.
sides animals and birds, reversed names and words were sometimes introduced, e.g. " Amor " for " Roma," " Asoizarg " for " Graziosa " and " Eroma " for " Amore," etc. The simpler of these table-cloth patterns probably date from before the 14th century, whilst the fuller ones were certainly made in considerable quantities in the 15th century. An inventory dated 1842 has an entry of two napkins or cloths woven in cotton wi.th bands of dragons and lions a la Perugina, which is suggestive that this type of weaving was associated particu1 See the Italian monthly art review, Emporium, vol. xxiii. (1906).
FIG. 46. Italian Silk Damask or Lampas of late 16th century, with pattern of repeated leafy logs.
with red or yellow silk, and embroidery was sometimes added to 1 weaving.
The most important and probably the best known class of late ornamental linen weaving is that of damask household napery, which, as a reflection of satin damask, was developed in the flax-growing regions of Saxony, Flanders and North France, during the late istn or early 16th century; it was then rare and acquired for use by wealthy persons only. 2 The style of design in the better of the old linen damasks has some kinship with that of bold 15th- and 16 thcentury woodcuts of the Flemish or German schools. To some extent these damask figure subjects recall those of the colour Cologne and Venetian orphreys for copes and apparels for dalmatics. The early history of linen damask is obscure, but a great many of its results are preserved in England. A napkin with the royal shield of Henry VII., the supporters within the garte" surmounted by the crown, is in the Victoria and Albert Museuri where it is called Flemish. On the other hand it is possibly the work of Flemings in England, since from the time of Edward I. and for a hundred years " a constant stream of emigrants passed from Flanders to England." 3 The Victoria and Albert Museun contains an early 16th-century tablecloth in damask linen German or Flemish manufacture with various subjects, chiefly religious and moral: Gideon being shown as a kneeling knight, the fleece of wool on the ground being near him, while from above the dew falls on it ; below Gideon is the Virgin Mary and the unicorn, and lower down an angel with seven dogs heads 'typifying different virtues as shown in the lettering -fides, spes, charitas, etc. In another which was probably made in England (at Norwich?) by Flemings during the second half of the 16th century, we find St George and the Dragon, the royal arms of Queen Anne Boleyn, the badges of Queen Anne Boleyn and Queen Elizabeth, the crowned Tudor Rose, and repeated portraits of Queen Elizabeth, with the legend below, " God save the Queene." This specimen is also in the Victoria and Albert Museum. A hundred years later in date is a tablecloth on which is a view of old St Paul's (burnt in 1666), while above and below occurs the wreathed shield of the City of London. A different class of linen, with the design done in blue, was evidently, from the inscriptions on it, the work of a German or Fleming, and probably woven in Germany about 1730. Here we find the wreathed arms of the City of London, a view of " London," and " George der II. Konig in Engelland " mounted on horseback. In this specimen the design is repeated, and 2 The earl of Northumberland (1512) is said to have had but eight linen cloths for his personal use, while his large retinue of servants had but one, which was washed once a month (See notes by Rev. C. H. Evelyn White on damask linen. Proceedings of Society of Antiquaries, second series, vol. xx. p. 132.)
3 See Rev. C. H. Evelyn White s paper on damask linen, Proceedings of Society of Antiquaries, second series, vol. xx. pp. 130-140.
not reversed, as is the case with the earlier pieces. A large collection of this German damask weaving with coloured thread was formed under the auspices of the Royal Kunstgewerbe Museum at Dresden. 1 The north-eastern Irish industry of damask weaving owes much to French Protestant refugees, who settled there towards the close of the 1yth century, though linen manufacture had been established in the district by a colony of Scots in 1634. Uunfermline in Scotland is said to produce as much damask as the rest of Europe, but there are important manufactories of it at Courtrai and Liege in Belgium, in Silesia, Austria and elsewhere.
LITERATURE. The following are titles of a few works on weaving, from which much important information on the subject may be derived:]. Bezon, Dictionnaire des tissus (8 vols., Paris, 1859- 1863), more or less technical only, Dictionnaire des sciences (Pans, 175 1-1780), technical; Michel Fruncisque, Recherches sur le commerce, lafibrication et I'usage des etofes de soie, d'or el d'argent (2 vols., Paris, 1852-1854), a well-known work full of erudition in resrject of the archaeology of woven fabrics, their technical characteristics, etc. ; James Yates, Textrinum antiquorum : an Account of the Art of Weaving among the Ancients (London, 1843), a very valuable and learned work of reference; Very Rev. Daniel Rock, D.D., Textile Fabrics (London, 1870), with some few good illustrations; Panset, Ilistoire de I soie (Paris 1862) ; Raymond Cax, L'Art de decorer les tissus, etc. (Paris, 1000); lan Cole, Ornament in European Mks (London, 1899), well illustrated; J. Lessing, Berlin konighche Mttseen, Die Gewebe-Sammlung des k. Kunstgewerbe-Museums (Berlin, 1900), a very fine series of phototype facsimiles of all kinds of textiles; A. Riegl, Die dgyptischen Textil-Funde (Wien, 1889); R. Forrer, Romische und byzantinische Seiden-Texlilien (Strassburg, 1891); A. Dupont Auberville, L'Ornament des tissus (Paris, 1877), admirable illustrations; F. Fischbach, Die wichtigsten Webe- Ornamente (3 vols., Wiesbaden, 1901), admirable illustrations; Raymond Cax, Le Musee historique des tissus . . . de Lyon (Lyon, 1902) ; Nuremberg: Germanisches Museum, Katalog der Gewebesammlung des germanischen National- Museums (Nuremberg, 1896).
(A. S. C.)
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)