Napkin thumbnail 1
Not currently on display at the V&A

Napkin

1670-1700 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This large linen damask napkin was cut from a long length of fabric patterned with hunting scenes. Made up napkins could be purchased from linen dealers, but it was considerably cheaper to buy lengths of linen and hem the cut edges at home. Table linen was one of the ways in which households could display their wealth to visitors, and the generous proportions of this napkin probably reflect this as much as a desire to protect clothing. Linen, however, could be laundered whereas the silks and fine woollen textiles of which best clothing were made were difficult to clean.

The design of the damask shows the influence of Asian ceramics and lacquer which began to arrive in Europe in quantity for the first time in the late seventeenth century. This is particularly visible in the hills on which the towns are perched and the bridges which cross the river on which a man is canoeing.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Linen damask
Brief Description
Linen damask napkin depicting a hunting scene, made in Flanders, 1670-1700
Physical Description
Linen damask napkin depicting a hunting scene.
Dimensions
  • Length: 40in
  • Width: 38in
Dimensions taken from Register, not checked against object
Subjects depicted
Summary
This large linen damask napkin was cut from a long length of fabric patterned with hunting scenes. Made up napkins could be purchased from linen dealers, but it was considerably cheaper to buy lengths of linen and hem the cut edges at home. Table linen was one of the ways in which households could display their wealth to visitors, and the generous proportions of this napkin probably reflect this as much as a desire to protect clothing. Linen, however, could be laundered whereas the silks and fine woollen textiles of which best clothing were made were difficult to clean.



The design of the damask shows the influence of Asian ceramics and lacquer which began to arrive in Europe in quantity for the first time in the late seventeenth century. This is particularly visible in the hills on which the towns are perched and the bridges which cross the river on which a man is canoeing.
Collection
Accession Number
T.338-1910

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record createdApril 5, 2006
Record URL