Thursday, 7 May 2009

Beautiful Toile de Nantes panel c1825 'Telemaque et Calypso'

Here is another beautiful panel of antique toile, this time, a panel of Toile De Nantes. Nantes produced a much earlier, different version of the same subject in about 1785, worked in a more classical, detailed style, but stylistically, this one dates to around 1820-30. It seems to be based on Fenelon's 1699 prose epic Les Aventures de Telemaque, which was loosley based on Homer's Odyssey, with a new character Eucharist, who we see here in this panel, who doesn't appear in Greek mythology (thanks Wikipedia).

The style here is very different to that of the Toile de Rouen in my previous post, I think it is block printed or perhaps block and roller printed (I am not yet very good at spotting clues to manufacturing techniques unless they are very obvious), a simple design, yet very elegant, very much in the style of the period, an exotic story told in an exotic setting. It is made up of a number of titled vignettes that look like stage sets.

Please click on the pictures to see the superb detail.


  1. When I come to visit, I need a little extra energy for all the swooning I commence to do. The treasures you have are so incredible. I love toiles, and yours are so exceptional and exquisite. Thank you for the lovely museum textile tour (again).

  2. You are so lovely! Thank you. I am very, very lucky to be so close to France here, and some of the fairs I go to attract a lot of French textile dealers, and for some reason, Toiles don't seem to be that popular with other buyers at the moment (I can't for the life of me understand why), I usually find a few gorgeous pieces, and while I have to sell some to pay the bills, I get to keep the best! As a cultural/domestic historian, I adore researching these well-documented textiles. I am poor but very, very happy! All the best, Lois x
    PS, more to come over the next few weeks, so please watch this space...

  3. Absolutely gorgeous posts every time I pop over for a look. Pure delight! I can't figure why folk aren't into the toiles as much at the moment. They are to die for...

  4. I agree, I think the original late 18th and early 19th century prints are so beautiful, reproductions never quite capture the spirit of the originals!