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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 copper engraved ruled paper

  • 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 belongs to a group 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 satin 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, in gouache painted on paper 8 en 12, on the back the name of the firm and the date, and the name of the fabric, and key to how to weave it. Pattern of flowers in red floral compartments.

Place of Origin

Lyon (designed and made)


1762 (designed and made)



Materials and Techniques

painted in gouache on copper engraved ruled paper

Marks and inscriptions

L. Galy, Gallien et compe.
18 fev 1762
No. 674 satin en soye de 8 en 12, 21 dix[ain]es à Répétition
L. Galy, Gallien and co.
18 February 1762
No. 674 Satin with coloured silks on 8 & 12 paper, 21 dezines in the repeat
This inscription indicates who owned the design, which had probably been designed by either an inhouse or freelance designer.


Height: 22.5 cm, Width: 54.3 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; Galy Gallien, flowers in red floral compartments

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

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
Natalie Rothstein, Silk Designs of the Eighteenth Century, Thames and Hudson, 1990, p. 249

Production Note

made for the firm of L. Galy, Gallien et cie., silk manufacturers


Gouache; Ruled paper


Painting; Copper engraving

Subjects depicted



Designs; Textiles

Production Type



Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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