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Textile design

Textile design

  • Place of origin:

    Lyon (made)

  • Date:

    1762 (made)
    1763 (altered)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Gouache on printed paper

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case T, shelf 204

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 the silk industry in Europe from the 1660s onwards. The partnership was called L. Galy, Gallien et cie from 1761 until 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 Lyon’s 400 manufacturing concerns 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 3 February 1762 and was no. 798 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 intertwined ribbons in red and pale blue with a spray of mixed flowers on the left in shades of blue, pink and green. The ground is covered with vertical stripes made from light mauve squares. 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)
1763 (altered)



Materials and Techniques

Gouache on printed paper

Marks and inscriptions

On the front: 8 en 9 Huilliot a Lion
On the back:
Du 3 fev[rier 1762 L. Galy, Gallien et compe. 1763.
No. 798 Taff[eta] en dorures et nuence de 39 dix[ain]es a repetition
Per lat le violet clair liseréz
2 le blanc et le rouge
3 le gris de lin
4 le lila
5 le pourpre et le verd brun
6 le gris brun et le vert clair et le violet second
7 le vert second
8 le porcelaine
Also on the back, a red oval stamp: Robert Ruepp, 7 rue Bergère, Paris.
Instructions for mounting loom


Height: 43.8 cm, Width: 55.2 cm

Descriptive line

for silk, 1763, French; Galy Gallien, ribbons, flowers, fancy ground

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 of attribution derive from inscription on back of design.

Attribution note: Second stage of silk design; technical drawing that allowed loom to be mounted.


Paper; Gouache; Ink


Painted; Handwritten



Production Type



Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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