Design

15/07/1709 (designed)
Design thumbnail 1
Design thumbnail 2
+8
images
Not currently on display at the V&A

Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This design is from an album that contains 104 designs for fine woven silk cloth and is dated July 15th 1709. A constant supply of fashionable new designs from which to create new lines was required, so patternmakers and master weavers like James Leman supplied a wide range of designs for different weavers. The album contains some of his work from the period 1706-1716, as well as five designs from the 1730s.

James Leman was born in 1688 into a weaving family of Huguenot descent. In 1702 he was apprenticed to his father, Peter, and lived with his family in Stewart Street, Spitalfields in London. Leman's inscription on the design states that it was made for his father Peter Leman, showing that he drew it while still an apprentice.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Pencil, pen and ink, watercolour and bodycolour on laid paper
Brief Description
Design for woven silk from the 'Leman Album', pencil, pen and ink, watercolour and bodycolour on laid paper, by James Leman, Spitalfields, 1709
Physical Description
Design for woven silk from the 'Leman Album', in pencil, pen and ink, watercolour and bodycolour on laid paper, depicting architectural features including a fantastical building supported on four short columns above which are two large Corinthian columns above which is a roof structure with large round openings which reveal decorative features. There is a column above the roof structure on the left side. There is an outsize fruit with decorative scales on the left side of the roof and a decorative fence in a Chinoiserie style above the roof structure. There is a fantastical cityscape in the centre of the design behind the central architectural feature. There are floral, foliate and decorative motifs floating amidst the architectural features. The design is in pale yellow ochre, orange, pale pink, red, mauve and dark green.



The design is squared up in pencil for cords and dezines, with dezines numbered in ink.
Dimensions
  • Height: 56.5cm
  • Width: 26.4cm
  • Height: 22.25in
  • Width: 10.375in
Marks and Inscriptions
  • 'London July 15th 1709 Damask for Mr Tully 450 Cords No 8 & 10 - 120 Dezines long in Six simples For my Father Peter Leman by me James Leman.' (Handwritten text in ink including the designer's signature and date, on the back of the design. The design is pasted down so the inscription is no longer clearly visible and it is not possible to record the line breaks. However the inscription was recorded by Natalie Rothstein in her book Silk Designs of the Eighteenth Century. )
  • Squared up in pencil for cords and dezines, with dezines numbered in ink. (Handwritten makers' and designer's marks in pencil and ink, on the front of the design.)
Credit line
Purchased with Art Fund support and the National Heritage Memorial Fund
Object history
This is a design from the so-called 'Leman album' which was bought from Vanners Silks Ltd. in 1991. Natalie Rothstein catalogued the designs before the album was bought by the Victoria and Albert Museum. She gave each design a VS number (for Vanners Silks) in her catalogue Silk Designs of the Eighteenth Century. The designs have been subsequently numbered by the Prints, Drawings and Paintings Department, however, a concordance exists.



Historical significance: The designs collected in the album are, with the exception of some fragmentary medieval examples in Italian collections, the earliest silk designs known to exist.
Production
Attribution note: Natalie Rothstein stated in her book Silk Designs of the Eighteenth Century that 'There are some unpainted pencilled features. NB This cannot be a plain damask as it is painted in eight colours.'
Summary
This design is from an album that contains 104 designs for fine woven silk cloth and is dated July 15th 1709. A constant supply of fashionable new designs from which to create new lines was required, so patternmakers and master weavers like James Leman supplied a wide range of designs for different weavers. The album contains some of his work from the period 1706-1716, as well as five designs from the 1730s.



James Leman was born in 1688 into a weaving family of Huguenot descent. In 1702 he was apprenticed to his father, Peter, and lived with his family in Stewart Street, Spitalfields in London. Leman's inscription on the design states that it was made for his father Peter Leman, showing that he drew it while still an apprentice.
Bibliographic Reference
Rothstein, Natalie. Silk Designs of the Eighteenth Century in the Collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London with a Complete Catalogue with 473 Illustrations, 371 in Colour. London: Thames and Hudson, 1990. 351p., ill. ISBN 0500235899.p. 101-102, pl. 17Full text of the entry is as follows: 'London July 15th 1709 Damask for Mr Tully 450 Cords No 8 & 10 - 120 Dezines long in Six simples For my Father Peter Leman by me James Leman. Squared up in pencil for cords and dezines, with dezines numbered in ink. There are some unpainted pencilled features. NB This cannot be a plain damask as it is painted in eight colours. 22 1/4" (56.5) x 10 3/8" (26.4) [pl. 17] Q.513, HJ.559, CT.18336 VS89'
Other Number
VS.89 - 'VS' stands for Vanners Silks which owned the album when Natalie Rothstein catalogued it for her publication <u>Silk Designs of the Eighteenth Century</u>.
Collection
Accession Number
E.1861:98-1991

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

record createdMay 8, 2002
Record URL