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Textile design

  • Place of origin:

    Lyon (made)

  • Date:

    1763 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    ink and gouache on printed 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, France from about 1761-1772. Lyon was the most prestigious centre of the silk industry in Europe from the 1660s onwards. This company was one of its 400 manufacturing concerns mid century and was particularly careful to keep good records, noting on the back of the designs the company name, the number of the design in the design archive or collection, 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 at a later date. 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.

The inscription on the back reveals that this design was completed on 28 February 1763 and was no. 808 in the archive of L. Gallien et cie. The stamp reveals that it belonged to an early 20th century designer who may have used it as inspiration for his own designs.

Physical description

The design is painted in gouache on to point paper (a kind of graph paper). The pattern consists of a ribbon meander in red and pale blue with a garland of flowers weaving around it and a bunch of stylised mixed flowers to the left in pinks, blues and greens. 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)


1763 (made)



Materials and Techniques

ink and gouache on printed paper

Marks and inscriptions

On the front: 8 en 10 Huilliot a Lion.
On the back:
Du 28 fevrier 1763 L. Galy, Gallien et compe.
No. 808 Canellé lustriné en soye et cord[eonnet] 40 dixa[ine] repetition
Lat le Murroy coup de fond
2 le blanc et le rouge
3 le gris de lin et le paille
4 le célus
5 le pourpre et le violet clair
6 le vert second
7 le vert bruy
8 le porcelaine
Also on the back, stamped in purple: Robert Ruepp, 7 rue Bergère, Paris.


Height: 45.1 cm, Width: 54.6 cm

Descriptive line

for silk, 1763, French; Galy Gallien, ribbons, 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 based on inscription on back of design; this firm was based in Lyon


Paper; Gouache; Ink


Painted; Printed; Handwritten


Designs; Textiles; Europeana Fashion Project

Production Type



Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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