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  • Place of origin:

    Lyon (designed and made)

  • Date:

    1762 (designed and made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    painted in gouache on paper engraved with a grid

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case 3H, shelf 18

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 belongs to a group of 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 the beginning of 1771 and it was one of Lyon's 400 manufacturing concerns mid-century. It kept good records, noting on the back of the designs the number of the design and minimal instructions on how it should be woven.

This design was for a patterned silk with a plain woven background, approximately 54 centimetres wide. It would have had this motif repeated across the width at least twice. In Lyon, manufacturing regulations dictated the widths in which such silks might be woven.

Physical description

Mise-en-carte or draft for a woven silk, painted in gouache on graph paper '8 en 9'. Pattern of wide lace and silk stripes, flowers. On the back is the name of the firm, the date, the number of the design and the name of the fabric for which it was intended as well as a key to the colours.

Place of Origin

Lyon (designed and made)


1762 (designed and made)



Materials and Techniques

painted in gouache on paper engraved with a grid

Marks and inscriptions

L. Galy, Gallien et cie.
3 juillet 1762
No. 736 Taff[eta] en soye à bande, 35 dix[ain]es à Répétition
L. Galy, Gallien and co.
3 July 1762
No. 736 Taffeta with coloured silk in stripes 35 dezines in the repeat


Width: 37.8 cm, Height: 31.8 cm

Object history note

Made for the firm of L.Galy, Gallien et cie., this and the other designs of this type were passed down through the partnership. They subsequently came into the hands of a designer called Robert Ruepp of 7 rue Bergère in Paris, who exhibited silks at the Great Exhibitions in Paris in 1900 and in 1925. They subsequently came into the ownership of Sir Frank Warner (of Warner and Co.) and then in 1972 into the collections of the V&A.

Descriptive line

for woven silk, 1762, French; L. Galy Gallien & cie., wide lace and silk stripes, flowers

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

Natalie Rothstein, Silk Designs of the Eighteenth Century, Thames and Hudson, 1990, p. 250
Lesley Ellis Miller, 'Mysterious Manufacturers: Situating L. Galy, Gallien et Compe. in the Eighteenth-Century Lyons Silk Industry', Studies in the Decorative Arts, Vol. IX:2, Spring-summer 2002, p. 90

Production Note

Made for the silk manufacturing partnership of L.Galy, Gallien et cie.


Paper; Gouache


Painting; Engraving

Subjects depicted

Lace; Flowers; Stripes


Designs; Textiles

Production Type



Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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