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Textile design

Textile design

  • Place of origin:

    Lyon (made)

  • Date:

    1762 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Gouache and ink on paper

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case T, shelf 205

This design is a preparatory technical drawing for a patterned silk. It acted as instructions for the weaver about how to tie up the threads on the loom and then weave in the pattern. It is one of a group of 1577 such designs commissioned by a silk manufacturing partnership active in Lyon, the most prestigious centre of silk industry in Europe from the 1660s onwards. The partnership was called L. Galy, Gallien et cie from 1761 until the beginning of 1771 when the senior partner Louis Galy retired. Louis Gallien continued the business under the name L. Gallien et cie into the late 1780s by which time he was specialising in plain rather than patterned silks.

This company was one of its 400 manufacturing concerns in the city mid century. It kept good records, noting on the back of the designs the company name, the number of the design, the date the design was made, and minimal instructions on how it should be woven. Such information allowed the manufacturers to go back to the original design work if they received requests for a reweave of the design.

The inscription on the back reveals that this design was completed on 14 October 1762 and was no. 778 in the archive of L. Galy, Gallien et cie.

Physical description

The design is painted in gouache on to point paper (a kind of graph paper). The pattern consists of two interlacing ribbons, one plain and one patterned in bands, intertwined with a flowering branch. A large cluster of mixed flowers fills the left-hand side of the design. The ribbons have red outlines and pale blue, red and brown centres. The branch is brown, petals of flowers are yellow, light brown, pink and green. Three shades of green are used in the cluster of flowers and the same colours for the petals as on the flowering branch. Two of the white petals are marked with crosses. Every fifth line of the ground is painted with a thick brown line. On the front the name of the printer of the paper is engraved along with the type of paper. On the back is inscribed in handwriting in ink the name of the manufacturer, the date of the design, its number, the type of the fabric and some instructions for weaving.

Place of Origin

Lyon (made)


1762 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Gouache and ink on paper

Marks and inscriptions

On the front: 8 en 10 Huilliot a Lion
On the back:
Du 6 8bre 1762 L. Galy, Gallien et compe.
No. 778 Canelé lustrine de 8 en 10 40 dix[ain]es a repetition
Per lat le marion coup de fond
2 le blanc et le rouge
3 le gris de lin et le blanc marqué de +
4 le lila
5 le pourpre et le gros jaune
6 le vert clair, le violet clair et le chamois
7 le vert second
8 le vert brun
9 le gris et le porcelaine du galon
10 le paille et le porcelaine du bouquet.
Also on the back, stamped in purple: Robert Ruepp, 7 rue Bergère, Paris.


Height: 44.1 cm, Width: 54 cm

Descriptive line

for silk, 1762, French; Galy Gallien, ribbon, meander, flowers, polychrome

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

L. E. Miller. 'Mysterious Manufacturers: Identifying L. Galy, Gallien et Cie. and their Contribution to the 18th Century Lyon Silk Industry'. Studies in the Decorative Arts, Vol. IX. No. 2 (2002), pp. 87-131
L.E. Miller. 'Between Engraving and Silk Manufacture in Late Eighteenth-Century Lyons: Marie-Anne Brenier and Other Point Papermakers'. Studies in the Decorative Arts, Vol. III, No. 2, 1996, pp. 52-77
N. Rothstein. Silk Designs of the Eighteenth Century. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1990, p. 250.

Production Note

Date and place are attributed on the basis of the inscription on the back of the design.


Paper; Gouache; Ink


Painted; Handwritten; Handwritten



Production Type



Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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