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Selling Silks Selling Silks A Merchant’s Album A Merchant’s Sample Book 1763

1764

Introduction 86


A Merchant’s Sample Album 86


A Merchant’s Sample Album 86


Plate 1. Plan Seraucourt: Lyon, locating quartier des Terreaux and also the streets in which manufacturers lived, marked up on slide Plate 2. View from presqu’île across Saône to Fourvière, Lyon in the 18th century. Musées Gadagne, Lyon

Manufacturing and selling Lyonnais silks

The year 1718 saw the establishment of a new kind of business: a third party came between the manufacturer and the foreign buyer. This was the salesman [commissionaire]. He took charge of choosing the merchandise, deciding the price, and sending it out. Soon…the foreigner and the manufacturer could only do business through him. (Mémoire sur l’envoi des échantillons de la Fabrique de Lyon, 1760)1 The suppliers of the samples in the merchant’s sample book are the subject of this section, both the manufacturers whose initials are recorded above the samples and the anonymous compiler of the book, who presumably dispatched it to London. While little is known of the book’s journey, the system from which it emerged is well documented and offers a context for its likely progress. Lyon’s manufacturers had long been dependent on external markets for their silks, most of which remained in Europe. They had a particularly close working relationship with Paris, which accounted for about 45% of their French market. The major Atlantic and Mediterranean ports were next most significant, while a large proportion of remaining sales was in the area surrounding Lyon. Before the end of the Seven Years War, the most significant external export zone by far was Spain, though exports were already transported to Central, Northern and Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean, the Ottoman Empire and the Antilles. After the end of the War, Northern and Eastern Europe became a major focus for marketing drives. Exchanges with London comprised a very small proportion of trade, though some sales in England were probably brokered through correspondents in Dunkirk.2 The sample book is all the more precious for relating to this little known outlet. Far-flung markets called for sophisticated management of resources and the use of the middleman to whom Lyonnais manufacturers referred in the report on sales practices in 1760 quoted above. The silk-weaving guild: La Grande Fabrique Manufacturing in Lyon was governed by the silk-weaving guild, La Grande Fabrique, which had been established in the fifteenth century.3 By the 1760s its headquarters were housed in the rue St Dominique in the centre of the presqu’île (plates 1, 2). From this base elected guild officials ensured that all of their members observed the regulations governing training and workshop management, and the quality of their products. Here, too, they debated guild affairs, periodically formulating proposals for new regulations to suit changing circumstances. They also approved special concessions that allowed manufacturers to depart from the regulations.

86

Such concessions enabled product innovation and encouraged improvements in weaving technology. At the time this sample book was put together the most recent and comprehensive guild regulations dated to 1744. They had firmly placed the greatest power in the hands of the top rung in the guild hierarchy, the merchant manufacturers (marchands fabricants) whose main preoccupation from the late 1750s was how to deal with ‘new’ selling practices. The guild was organized hierarchically into four strata. At the bottom were the apprentices who were training to be weavers. Only Catholic boys born in Lyon or one of its surrounding provinces were eligible for apprenticeship, from the age of 14 onwards. For five years they were indentured in the workshop of a master weaver in order to learn the basic skills of the trade. If they served their master diligently and without absence or illness, they sat an examination. If successful, they could register as journeymen (compagnons). Another five years of training followed, though journeymen had more freedom, being paid a fee for any weaving they carried out for a master and being able to move from one master to another relatively easily. All being well, they completed this phase with a slightly more complex examination and graduated to the status of master weaver (maître ouvrier en soie/maître fabricant), paying the appropriate

Introduction 86


Plate 1. Plan Seraucourt: Lyon, locating quartier des Terreaux and also the streets in which manufacturers lived, marked up on slide Plate 2. View from presqu’île across Saône to Fourvière, Lyon in the 18th century. Musées Gadagne, Lyon

Manufacturing and selling Lyonnais silks

The year 1718 saw the establishment of a new kind of business: a third party came between the manufacturer and the foreign buyer. This was the salesman [commissionaire]. He took charge of choosing the merchandise, deciding the price, and sending it out. Soon…the foreigner and the manufacturer could only do business through him. (Mémoire sur l’envoi des échantillons de la Fabrique de Lyon, 1760)1 The suppliers of the samples in the merchant’s sample book are the subject of this section, both the manufacturers whose initials are recorded above the samples and the anonymous compiler of the book, who presumably dispatched it to London. While little is known of the book’s journey, the system from which it emerged is well documented and offers a context for its likely progress. Lyon’s manufacturers had long been dependent on external markets for their silks, most of which remained in Europe. They had a particularly close working relationship with Paris, which accounted for about 45% of their French market. The major Atlantic and Mediterranean ports were next most significant, while a large proportion of remaining sales was in the area surrounding Lyon. Before the end of the Seven Years War, the most significant external export zone by far was Spain, though exports were already transported to Central, Northern and Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean, the Ottoman Empire and the Antilles. After the end of the War, Northern and Eastern Europe became a major focus for marketing drives. Exchanges with London comprised a very small proportion of trade, though some sales in England were probably brokered through correspondents in Dunkirk.2 The sample book is all the more precious for relating to this little known outlet. Far-flung markets called for sophisticated management of resources and the use of the middleman to whom Lyonnais manufacturers referred in the report on sales practices in 1760 quoted above. The silk-weaving guild: La Grande Fabrique Manufacturing in Lyon was governed by the silk-weaving guild, La Grande Fabrique, which had been established in the fifteenth century.3 By the 1760s its headquarters were housed in the rue St Dominique in the centre of the presqu’île (plates 1, 2). From this base elected guild officials ensured that all of their members observed the regulations governing training and workshop management, and the quality of their products. Here, too, they debated guild affairs, periodically formulating proposals for new regulations to suit changing circumstances. They also approved special concessions that allowed manufacturers to depart from the regulations.

86

Such concessions enabled product innovation and encouraged improvements in weaving technology. At the time this sample book was put together the most recent and comprehensive guild regulations dated to 1744. They had firmly placed the greatest power in the hands of the top rung in the guild hierarchy, the merchant manufacturers (marchands fabricants) whose main preoccupation from the late 1750s was how to deal with ‘new’ selling practices. The guild was organized hierarchically into four strata. At the bottom were the apprentices who were training to be weavers. Only Catholic boys born in Lyon or one of its surrounding provinces were eligible for apprenticeship, from the age of 14 onwards. For five years they were indentured in the workshop of a master weaver in order to learn the basic skills of the trade. If they served their master diligently and without absence or illness, they sat an examination. If successful, they could register as journeymen (compagnons). Another five years of training followed, though journeymen had more freedom, being paid a fee for any weaving they carried out for a master and being able to move from one master to another relatively easily. All being well, they completed this phase with a slightly more complex examination and graduated to the status of master weaver (maître ouvrier en soie/maître fabricant), paying the appropriate

Introduction 86


Pl. 3 Engraving of drawloom from Diderot et d’Alembert, Enyclopédie, Vol. 11, 1772, pl. 60 Pl. 4 Esquisse. V&A E.4028–1911 freehand sketch, 1760 –70 Pl. 5 Mise-en-carte. V&A T.425–1972 Point paper design for a brocaded satin, February 1762.

registration fee to the guild. They had now reached the stage at which they had the right to set up their own workshop, employ journeymen, take on an apprentice, and other auxiliaries, and weave up fabrics independently. Setting up a workshop necessitated investment in suitable equipment and in raw materials. Neither was cheap, and often masters had to rent equipment and accept loans from others in order to reach the stage of running a workshop. The guild also controlled the size, contents and personnel of a master’s workshop, limiting the number of looms to four or five and the number of apprentices to one. While a plain silk-weaving workshop with three looms operational might make do with five workers – the master, his wife and a journeyman weaving, a servant filling the shuttles and a second servant winding the silk and undertaking other small chores – a workshop making figured silks would have needed in addition at least two drawgirls per loom to operate the simple (semple) which programmed the pattern on the drawloom (métier à la grande tire; plate 3).4 Masters in charge of a workshop often made a mediocre living and were in effect employees of the fourth and final level in the guild, the merchant manufacturers. The merchant manufacturers were masters who paid a further, substantial fee of 300# in order to work commissioning and selling silks. They did so by buying raw materials, contracting out weaving to masters’ workshops and then selling on those silks to clients across Europe and beyond. These merchant manufacturers were the wealthy, cultured and often well-travelled elite. The guild only allowed them one loom on their premises, though they might be providing work for 240 to 400 looms – that is, 60 to 100 workshops – elsewhere in the city. They occupied commercial premises that tended to comprise living accommodation for the manufacturer’s extended family, stores in which to keep and process raw materials (silk, silver and gold) and a shop or showroom from which to distribute and sell manufactured goods. These premises also functioned as office space in which bookkeepers (teneurs de livres) and clerks (commis) kept the accounts and maintained copious correspondence with suppliers, workers, and clients. Sometimes designers (dessinateurs) also worked in these commercial spaces, preparing both sketches and technical drawings for the silks that would then be put out to be woven in one of the city’s weaving workshops. The sketch showed the initial ideas, while the point paper (miseen-carte) translated the ideas on to a grid that could then be used to mount the loom (plates 4, 5). Partnerships and dynasties About four hundred merchant manufacturers or merchant manufacturing partnerships worked concurrently in eighteenth-century Lyon. These men (and women) often came from socially

86

comfortable backgrounds, not surprisingly given that financial solvency was a prerequisite for setting up a business. Some, possibly the majority, had been born into Lyonnais silkmanufacturing families, their fathers, grandfathers, and even great-grandfathers having worked in the trade before them and having built up enough capital to ease the passage of their sons. The guild encouraged these men by allowing their male offspring to bypass the full ten-year apprenticeship and register as masters and merchants from the age of 15 (between 1712 and 1737), 19 (between 1737 and 1744) and 21 thereafter, at a reduced fee. Some of these families were veritable dynasties that traced their roots back to the late seventeenth century, when Louis XIV and his minister Jean Baptiste Colbert had given Lyon special encouragement to develop in this field.5 Some of their names also reveal the family’s likely origins in Italy, from which Lyon had drawn so much expertise over centuries. Among those whose fabrics feature in this sample book, the Maupetit and Reverony families stand out, the first Maupetit and Reverony having registered as masters in the 1650s and the last continuing the family tradition up until the French Revolution.6 The Reverony family also boasted the honour of having produced the first merchant manufacturer to ascend the social scale to become a city magistrate in 1728 – a potent sign of the prestige of silk manufacturing in the city by that date (plate 6).7 The merchant manufacturing level of the trade was also attractive to men of middling means who came from outside the silk-weaving community, in particular to the sons of merchants in other lines of business and to the bourgeoisie. They, of course, had to complete a full ten-year apprenticeship in order to qualify as masters, then merchants, but they expected to do so in a certain amount of comfort and with the provision of skills beyond weaving. They might live with a master during their apprenticeship but take with them some little luxuries, their own homes being much more comfortable than the accommodation they might expect during apprenticeship. They might be allowed to absent themselves from the workshop to pursue studies in commerce or design, whereas their less well-off counterparts were tied to the workshop 24 hours a day. A small fee encouraged the master weaver to turn a blind eye to this contravention of guild regulations. Among the manufacturers in this book, Alexandre Constant, the son of a Lyonnais barrister, benefited from parental support of this kind. In his apprenticeship contract of 1733 his mother agreed to pay 150# to his master weaver and provided him with clothing and ‘the mattresses, bolster/pillow, bedcover and bed sheets and six napkins for his use’.8 Merchant manufacturers often worked in businesses with one or more partners. Usually some kind of contract marked their association and determined the nature of the business and the

Introduction 86


Pl. 3 Engraving of drawloom from Diderot et d’Alembert, Enyclopédie, Vol. 11, 1772, pl. 60 Pl. 4 Esquisse. V&A E.4028–1911 freehand sketch, 1760 –70 Pl. 5 Mise-en-carte. V&A T.425–1972 Point paper design for a brocaded satin, February 1762.

registration fee to the guild. They had now reached the stage at which they had the right to set up their own workshop, employ journeymen, take on an apprentice, and other auxiliaries, and weave up fabrics independently. Setting up a workshop necessitated investment in suitable equipment and in raw materials. Neither was cheap, and often masters had to rent equipment and accept loans from others in order to reach the stage of running a workshop. The guild also controlled the size, contents and personnel of a master’s workshop, limiting the number of looms to four or five and the number of apprentices to one. While a plain silk-weaving workshop with three looms operational might make do with five workers – the master, his wife and a journeyman weaving, a servant filling the shuttles and a second servant winding the silk and undertaking other small chores – a workshop making figured silks would have needed in addition at least two drawgirls per loom to operate the simple (semple) which programmed the pattern on the drawloom (métier à la grande tire; plate 3).4 Masters in charge of a workshop often made a mediocre living and were in effect employees of the fourth and final level in the guild, the merchant manufacturers. The merchant manufacturers were masters who paid a further, substantial fee of 300# in order to work commissioning and selling silks. They did so by buying raw materials, contracting out weaving to masters’ workshops and then selling on those silks to clients across Europe and beyond. These merchant manufacturers were the wealthy, cultured and often well-travelled elite. The guild only allowed them one loom on their premises, though they might be providing work for 240 to 400 looms – that is, 60 to 100 workshops – elsewhere in the city. They occupied commercial premises that tended to comprise living accommodation for the manufacturer’s extended family, stores in which to keep and process raw materials (silk, silver and gold) and a shop or showroom from which to distribute and sell manufactured goods. These premises also functioned as office space in which bookkeepers (teneurs de livres) and clerks (commis) kept the accounts and maintained copious correspondence with suppliers, workers, and clients. Sometimes designers (dessinateurs) also worked in these commercial spaces, preparing both sketches and technical drawings for the silks that would then be put out to be woven in one of the city’s weaving workshops. The sketch showed the initial ideas, while the point paper (miseen-carte) translated the ideas on to a grid that could then be used to mount the loom (plates 4, 5). Partnerships and dynasties About four hundred merchant manufacturers or merchant manufacturing partnerships worked concurrently in eighteenth-century Lyon. These men (and women) often came from socially

86

comfortable backgrounds, not surprisingly given that financial solvency was a prerequisite for setting up a business. Some, possibly the majority, had been born into Lyonnais silkmanufacturing families, their fathers, grandfathers, and even great-grandfathers having worked in the trade before them and having built up enough capital to ease the passage of their sons. The guild encouraged these men by allowing their male offspring to bypass the full ten-year apprenticeship and register as masters and merchants from the age of 15 (between 1712 and 1737), 19 (between 1737 and 1744) and 21 thereafter, at a reduced fee. Some of these families were veritable dynasties that traced their roots back to the late seventeenth century, when Louis XIV and his minister Jean Baptiste Colbert had given Lyon special encouragement to develop in this field.5 Some of their names also reveal the family’s likely origins in Italy, from which Lyon had drawn so much expertise over centuries. Among those whose fabrics feature in this sample book, the Maupetit and Reverony families stand out, the first Maupetit and Reverony having registered as masters in the 1650s and the last continuing the family tradition up until the French Revolution.6 The Reverony family also boasted the honour of having produced the first merchant manufacturer to ascend the social scale to become a city magistrate in 1728 – a potent sign of the prestige of silk manufacturing in the city by that date (plate 6).7 The merchant manufacturing level of the trade was also attractive to men of middling means who came from outside the silk-weaving community, in particular to the sons of merchants in other lines of business and to the bourgeoisie. They, of course, had to complete a full ten-year apprenticeship in order to qualify as masters, then merchants, but they expected to do so in a certain amount of comfort and with the provision of skills beyond weaving. They might live with a master during their apprenticeship but take with them some little luxuries, their own homes being much more comfortable than the accommodation they might expect during apprenticeship. They might be allowed to absent themselves from the workshop to pursue studies in commerce or design, whereas their less well-off counterparts were tied to the workshop 24 hours a day. A small fee encouraged the master weaver to turn a blind eye to this contravention of guild regulations. Among the manufacturers in this book, Alexandre Constant, the son of a Lyonnais barrister, benefited from parental support of this kind. In his apprenticeship contract of 1733 his mother agreed to pay 150# to his master weaver and provided him with clothing and ‘the mattresses, bolster/pillow, bedcover and bed sheets and six napkins for his use’.8 Merchant manufacturers often worked in businesses with one or more partners. Usually some kind of contract marked their association and determined the nature of the business and the

Introduction 86


contribution of each partner. Some partnerships registered privately, others through a notary, and others still registered publicly with the Conservation des foires, the highest commercial body in Lyon, which passed judgment on business disputes. Some partnerships took their names from the active partners (e.g. Maupetit et Olivier). Sleeping partners, who might provide finance or talents in design or some other service, were often hidden under the rubric ‘and company’ (e.g. L. Galy, Gallien et cie.). In finding a partner, those born into silk-manufacturing households had an advantage, as they could go into partnership, first with a relative from the previous generation, or with an older sibling, then with brothers or brothers-in-law, and later with sons or nephews. Those not blessed with this familial resource had to seek out a willing associate. Proving a good apprentice with the right master could realize advantageous future connections in the district or the trade. Finding a wife who was the daughter of a master was similarly advantageous, as, through marriage, the journeyman gained the status of the son of a master. Women often worked alongside their husbands without formal recognition and were only allowed to practise independently when they were widowed.9

Pls 7–9 Frontispieces to Vols. 1, 2 & 3 of the Inventory of the Grande Fabrique. Drawings, ink on paper. Dimensions of registers : Height 57.2 x Width 37.5 cm. HH 624Grande fabrique de soie. Inventaire des archives de la Grande fabrique de soie, 1536 –1785. Courtesy of the Archives Municipales de Lyon. Translation of Latin legends : 32a It [silk manufacturing] arose from protection and flourishes under the laws. 32b The alliance of their art surpasses nature 32c As long as luxury reigns, thus long will this manufacture survive

While family ties were important, the possession of sufficient capital was equally so. The two often went hand in hand, of course, as the middling merchant and bourgeois ranks were those with access to capital – inherited or earned, from investments or labour. By the standards of large maritime trading companies, the amount on which a silk manufacturing partnership was set up was modest, but by the standards of most Lyonnais tradesmen it was enormous. Mid-century most partnerships were based on an initial investment of between 20,000 and 100,000#, each partner contributing between 6,000 and 50,000#. Without capital to invest, possession of desirable talents could facilitate entry into a first partnership during which enough income might be earned to invest in the next partnership. Designers were particularly fortunate in this respect, as their skills were highly desirable. Sleeping partners might also aid promising younger men who were still short of funds by injecting money into the partnership, maintaining a watchful eye on the fortunes of the business without involving themselves in the day-to-day running. They claimed a share of the profits against their initial investment (plates 7–9). As the silk trade was extremely sensitive to external fluctuations in the market, partnerships were set up for relatively short periods – between four and nine years, though sometimes they did not survive even four years. Bankruptcy and reformulation were common. This explains why it is difficult to trace all of the partnerships in the sample book. They may have been too short-lived to merit inclusion in any official publications or documents. Successful partnerships, however, might decide to continue their businesses at the end of the stipulated period, or take in new blood. The families, whose names survive through the decades, made use of their family networks, rejuvenating their partnerships through the addition of sons or nephews who sometimes retained the name of the founding partner. A 10- to 15-year age gap between partners was one method of ensuring continuity or the passing on of skills. Intermarriage between the partners’ families added to this likelihood. Where no son survived to adulthood, the name was likely to be lost (e.g. Monlong, Lagneau and Sève). Merchant manufacturers’ place in the city The manufacturers in this sample book all seem to have lived and worked in the main commercial district of Lyon, regardless of their roots in other parts of the city. Quartier des Terreaux encompassed place des Terreaux itself, and the surrounding streets – rue Sainte Catherine, rue Puits Gaillot, rue Desirée, montée de la Glacière, place des Carmes, the Croix Pâquet – mainly in the parish of St Pierre et St Saturnin, but also in Notre-Dame de La Platière, and occasionally St Vincent. Some were already involved in building the quartier St Clair to the north-west of Terreaux, which became the new and elegant urban commercial hub where they chose to live some years later. Manufacturers employed master weavers who mostly lived in the more congested and less salubrious parishes in the central presqu’île (St Nizier) and in the old town on the left bank of the Saône (St Georges, Sainte Croix and even St Paul, which had been a wealthy parish in the previous century and was still home to the Exchange). Some merchant manufacturers continued to work until their death but others chose to retire at an appropriate stage in their careers. Such men often continued to have a flat in town (rented

86

Introduction 86


contribution of each partner. Some partnerships registered privately, others through a notary, and others still registered publicly with the Conservation des foires, the highest commercial body in Lyon, which passed judgment on business disputes. Some partnerships took their names from the active partners (e.g. Maupetit et Olivier). Sleeping partners, who might provide finance or talents in design or some other service, were often hidden under the rubric ‘and company’ (e.g. L. Galy, Gallien et cie.). In finding a partner, those born into silk-manufacturing households had an advantage, as they could go into partnership, first with a relative from the previous generation, or with an older sibling, then with brothers or brothers-in-law, and later with sons or nephews. Those not blessed with this familial resource had to seek out a willing associate. Proving a good apprentice with the right master could realize advantageous future connections in the district or the trade. Finding a wife who was the daughter of a master was similarly advantageous, as, through marriage, the journeyman gained the status of the son of a master. Women often worked alongside their husbands without formal recognition and were only allowed to practise independently when they were widowed.9

Pls 7–9 Frontispieces to Vols. 1, 2 & 3 of the Inventory of the Grande Fabrique. Drawings, ink on paper. Dimensions of registers : Height 57.2 x Width 37.5 cm. HH 624Grande fabrique de soie. Inventaire des archives de la Grande fabrique de soie, 1536 –1785. Courtesy of the Archives Municipales de Lyon. Translation of Latin legends : 32a It [silk manufacturing] arose from protection and flourishes under the laws. 32b The alliance of their art surpasses nature 32c As long as luxury reigns, thus long will this manufacture survive

While family ties were important, the possession of sufficient capital was equally so. The two often went hand in hand, of course, as the middling merchant and bourgeois ranks were those with access to capital – inherited or earned, from investments or labour. By the standards of large maritime trading companies, the amount on which a silk manufacturing partnership was set up was modest, but by the standards of most Lyonnais tradesmen it was enormous. Mid-century most partnerships were based on an initial investment of between 20,000 and 100,000#, each partner contributing between 6,000 and 50,000#. Without capital to invest, possession of desirable talents could facilitate entry into a first partnership during which enough income might be earned to invest in the next partnership. Designers were particularly fortunate in this respect, as their skills were highly desirable. Sleeping partners might also aid promising younger men who were still short of funds by injecting money into the partnership, maintaining a watchful eye on the fortunes of the business without involving themselves in the day-to-day running. They claimed a share of the profits against their initial investment (plates 7–9). As the silk trade was extremely sensitive to external fluctuations in the market, partnerships were set up for relatively short periods – between four and nine years, though sometimes they did not survive even four years. Bankruptcy and reformulation were common. This explains why it is difficult to trace all of the partnerships in the sample book. They may have been too short-lived to merit inclusion in any official publications or documents. Successful partnerships, however, might decide to continue their businesses at the end of the stipulated period, or take in new blood. The families, whose names survive through the decades, made use of their family networks, rejuvenating their partnerships through the addition of sons or nephews who sometimes retained the name of the founding partner. A 10- to 15-year age gap between partners was one method of ensuring continuity or the passing on of skills. Intermarriage between the partners’ families added to this likelihood. Where no son survived to adulthood, the name was likely to be lost (e.g. Monlong, Lagneau and Sève). Merchant manufacturers’ place in the city The manufacturers in this sample book all seem to have lived and worked in the main commercial district of Lyon, regardless of their roots in other parts of the city. Quartier des Terreaux encompassed place des Terreaux itself, and the surrounding streets – rue Sainte Catherine, rue Puits Gaillot, rue Desirée, montée de la Glacière, place des Carmes, the Croix Pâquet – mainly in the parish of St Pierre et St Saturnin, but also in Notre-Dame de La Platière, and occasionally St Vincent. Some were already involved in building the quartier St Clair to the north-west of Terreaux, which became the new and elegant urban commercial hub where they chose to live some years later. Manufacturers employed master weavers who mostly lived in the more congested and less salubrious parishes in the central presqu’île (St Nizier) and in the old town on the left bank of the Saône (St Georges, Sainte Croix and even St Paul, which had been a wealthy parish in the previous century and was still home to the Exchange). Some merchant manufacturers continued to work until their death but others chose to retire at an appropriate stage in their careers. Such men often continued to have a flat in town (rented

86

Introduction 86


or owned) but might spend some of their income and time on a country estate outside Lyon. They were often designated bourgeois or noble when they died. Bourgeois status depended on ten years of residence in Lyon, certain duties to the city, and the promise to live there for at least seven months per year. It was not necessarily linked to wealth, and there were many poor bourgeois. Only the most able and ambitious could go further and achieve letters of nobility. This social elevation was usually acquired through inheritance, the purchase of an office (such as secrétaire du roi) or promotion to the rank of city magistrate. Serving the community in different ways was the bedrock of such advances, but costly because it took the attention of the manufacturer away from his business, to some extent. A common trajectory was to serve as guild official some ten years after becoming a merchant, then as rector of one of the two local hospices (the Hôtel Dieu or Hôpital de la Charité). Those with serious commercial expertise might become members of the Chamber of Commerce or the Conservation des foires in Lyon, or even deputy of commerce representing Lyon in Paris. These openings were not plentiful, but they nonetheless underline that the merchant manufacturers’ world was not confined to Lyon. It was firmly in contact with the French capital and with Enlightenment ideas prevalent across the rest of Europe. Indeed, Lyon sat at a crossroads, but a stone’s throw away from Geneva, Piedmont, Marseilles and, of course, Paris.10

Pls 7–9 Frontispieces to Vols. 1, 2 & 3 of the Inventory of the Grande Fabrique. Drawings, ink on paper. Dimensions of registers : Height 57.2 x Width 37.5 cm. HH 624Grande fabrique de soie. Inventaire des archives de la Grande fabrique de soie, 1536 –1785. Courtesy of the Archives Municipales de Lyon. Translation of Latin legends : 32a It [silk manufacturing] arose from protection and flourishes under the laws. 32b The alliance of their art surpasses nature 32c As long as luxury reigns, thus long will this manufacture survive

Promoting sales Before the advent of printed commercial handbooks, clients found merchant manufacturers through the quarterly fairs in Lyon, fairs in other European towns, and through word-of-mouth recommendation. The guild may have played a significant role in disseminating information, as it kept registers with the names and addresses of all working merchants. Those compiled from 1745 onwards, after the introduction of the 1744 regulations, have been particularly important in identifying the manufacturers in this sample book.11 While the location of the guild’s headquarters was well known to the Lyonnais, its position was further advertised through the locally published Almanach de Lyon, which gave the address and the names of the office-bearers annually in the mid-eighteenth century. It was probably through the guild, too, that visiting dignitaries programmed their tours of the best workshops, such visits serving the curiosity of tourists interested in local particularities.12 The first international publication to advertise individual manufacturers (without their addresses) was the Almanach des Négocians, published in Brussels in 1762. This listed 154 Lyonnais merchant manufacturers who were active in the making of brocaded silks and its successor, the Almanach général des marchands, négocians et armateurs, was reprinted in Paris every two years or so until the end of the century. Lyonnais manufacturers did not rely on printed matter alone in their quest for publicity and sales. In addition, manufacturers recognized selling as a distinctive trade and built its practitioners into different types of partnerships in the Grande Fabrique. These commissionaires or travelling salesmen practised either as partners in businesses devoted to the commissioning and sale of silk goods (commission, no manufacturing capacity) or to manufacturing and selling (fabrique et commission). Their travelling expenses – sometimes considerable – were built into their contracts. Alternatively, salesmen could work on a freelance basis for a number of manufacturers and merchants, as the compiler of this sample book probably did. They received 2–5% of the profits for each sale made.13 These men were the human contact between manufacturers and their clients, whether those clients were in the retail, tailoring or dressmaking trades or were private customers. They built on existing Lyonnais contacts in other cities and countries, many established over several generations.14 Their main focus was the ruling classes and their merchant peers, those who set taste and purchased the most expensive fabrics. Many made short visits of a month or so to important contacts during the year, or received them in Lyon. While their role was to show samples of silks and fashionable objects to clients and convince them to make purchases, they also collected debts on behalf of their partners and contacted suppliers. They maintained copious correspondence with their partners and their clients, whether they were at home or on the road, supplying them with information on products and on the circumstances that impacted on demand for better or worse, such as preparations for royal marriages, periods of mourning, the failure of harvests or the outbreak of war. Their letters are peppered with commentary on the price, quality, design and colour of silks, and often contained little samples of silks (plates 9, 10). The salesmen became indispensable because they knew the taste of their clients and could be trusted to provide them with what they wanted. 86

Introduction 86


or owned) but might spend some of their income and time on a country estate outside Lyon. They were often designated bourgeois or noble when they died. Bourgeois status depended on ten years of residence in Lyon, certain duties to the city, and the promise to live there for at least seven months per year. It was not necessarily linked to wealth, and there were many poor bourgeois. Only the most able and ambitious could go further and achieve letters of nobility. This social elevation was usually acquired through inheritance, the purchase of an office (such as secrétaire du roi) or promotion to the rank of city magistrate. Serving the community in different ways was the bedrock of such advances, but costly because it took the attention of the manufacturer away from his business, to some extent. A common trajectory was to serve as guild official some ten years after becoming a merchant, then as rector of one of the two local hospices (the Hôtel Dieu or Hôpital de la Charité). Those with serious commercial expertise might become members of the Chamber of Commerce or the Conservation des foires in Lyon, or even deputy of commerce representing Lyon in Paris. These openings were not plentiful, but they nonetheless underline that the merchant manufacturers’ world was not confined to Lyon. It was firmly in contact with the French capital and with Enlightenment ideas prevalent across the rest of Europe. Indeed, Lyon sat at a crossroads, but a stone’s throw away from Geneva, Piedmont, Marseilles and, of course, Paris.10

Pls 7–9 Frontispieces to Vols. 1, 2 & 3 of the Inventory of the Grande Fabrique. Drawings, ink on paper. Dimensions of registers : Height 57.2 x Width 37.5 cm. HH 624Grande fabrique de soie. Inventaire des archives de la Grande fabrique de soie, 1536 –1785. Courtesy of the Archives Municipales de Lyon. Translation of Latin legends : 32a It [silk manufacturing] arose from protection and flourishes under the laws. 32b The alliance of their art surpasses nature 32c As long as luxury reigns, thus long will this manufacture survive

Promoting sales Before the advent of printed commercial handbooks, clients found merchant manufacturers through the quarterly fairs in Lyon, fairs in other European towns, and through word-of-mouth recommendation. The guild may have played a significant role in disseminating information, as it kept registers with the names and addresses of all working merchants. Those compiled from 1745 onwards, after the introduction of the 1744 regulations, have been particularly important in identifying the manufacturers in this sample book.11 While the location of the guild’s headquarters was well known to the Lyonnais, its position was further advertised through the locally published Almanach de Lyon, which gave the address and the names of the office-bearers annually in the mid-eighteenth century. It was probably through the guild, too, that visiting dignitaries programmed their tours of the best workshops, such visits serving the curiosity of tourists interested in local particularities.12 The first international publication to advertise individual manufacturers (without their addresses) was the Almanach des Négocians, published in Brussels in 1762. This listed 154 Lyonnais merchant manufacturers who were active in the making of brocaded silks and its successor, the Almanach général des marchands, négocians et armateurs, was reprinted in Paris every two years or so until the end of the century. Lyonnais manufacturers did not rely on printed matter alone in their quest for publicity and sales. In addition, manufacturers recognized selling as a distinctive trade and built its practitioners into different types of partnerships in the Grande Fabrique. These commissionaires or travelling salesmen practised either as partners in businesses devoted to the commissioning and sale of silk goods (commission, no manufacturing capacity) or to manufacturing and selling (fabrique et commission). Their travelling expenses – sometimes considerable – were built into their contracts. Alternatively, salesmen could work on a freelance basis for a number of manufacturers and merchants, as the compiler of this sample book probably did. They received 2–5% of the profits for each sale made.13 These men were the human contact between manufacturers and their clients, whether those clients were in the retail, tailoring or dressmaking trades or were private customers. They built on existing Lyonnais contacts in other cities and countries, many established over several generations.14 Their main focus was the ruling classes and their merchant peers, those who set taste and purchased the most expensive fabrics. Many made short visits of a month or so to important contacts during the year, or received them in Lyon. While their role was to show samples of silks and fashionable objects to clients and convince them to make purchases, they also collected debts on behalf of their partners and contacted suppliers. They maintained copious correspondence with their partners and their clients, whether they were at home or on the road, supplying them with information on products and on the circumstances that impacted on demand for better or worse, such as preparations for royal marriages, periods of mourning, the failure of harvests or the outbreak of war. Their letters are peppered with commentary on the price, quality, design and colour of silks, and often contained little samples of silks (plates 9, 10). The salesmen became indispensable because they knew the taste of their clients and could be trusted to provide them with what they wanted. 86

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The small samples attached to the letters salesmen sent to their clients were a rather different proposition from the weighty tome containing hundreds of samples that Robert Trott seized in 1764. The London Chronicle’s description of the Customs officer’s coup underlines the physical reality of dealing with such an object when it notes that ‘… a very large book of patterns of French wrought silks…’ had been seized from ‘the hands of some French agents which had for some time been carried about among the mercers and other dealers in the silk trade to engage them to become purchasers of the pieces’.15 That more than one French agent was involved in the tricky task of transporting the book around London comes as no surprise to anyone who has had to lift it. Its length, width, depth, weight, and inflexibility make it awkward to carry for any distance.16 An able-bodied individual might have moved it from one table to another in the same room without too much difficulty, from a high shelf to a lower table with the aid of another person, and similarly from one room to another, or from indoors to awaiting transport outdoors with help. In many respects it lends itself better to being consulted in situ, its custodian inviting viewings from prospective customers, in much the same way as the London Weavers Company arranged for small groups of English manufacturers to consult it in 1764. It is very different from the small and portable sample books sent out by textile manufacturers such as John Kelly of Norwich in the same years.17 The agents transporting this sample book may or may not have accompanied it from Lyon to London, some 458 miles (736.92km), probably by road, river and sea. Merchants used public rather than private transport for the dispatch of their goods and the passage of the salesmen who went out to sell their silks, French public transport having improved radically in the second half of the seventeenth century, particularly between towns that were major centres of commerce, such as Lyon.18 If they did, they probably took about a fortnight, presuming that London was their only intended destination, though it seems quite possible that they stopped en route, Paris being an obvious place to seek custom. Many of the manufacturers represented in this sample book were already supplying certain prestigious mercers there, so it is not inconceivable that the book was used on its way north.19 Two main routes led northwards from Lyon along well-established highways or waterways: the first, safest and most pleasant led through the valley of the Saône and Burgundy; the second, more hazardous because of the many mountains, led through the Bourbonnais and the Auvergne. In general the first route followed the road created by the Romans many centuries before and the foundations of the road familiar today as the Route Nationale 6 laid in the second half of the eighteenth century further facilitated road travel.20 From Paris, the likelihood is that the sample book travelled to either Dunkirk or Calais, and thence across the Channel to Dover and to London – and into the hands of Robert Trott.

1 BML Imprimé 354461 Mémoire sur l’envoi des échantillons de la Fabrique de Lyon, 1760, p.16. 2 Léon 1976, pp.xxvi, 113; Bayard in Bayard, Cayez and Pelletier 2007, pp.494–5; Bayard 2007, pp.56, 64. 3 The key secondary sources on which this chapter is based are: Godart [1899] 1976; Pariset 1901; Garden 1970; Peyrot 1973; Miller 1988; Poni 1997; Bayard 2007. 4 Lyon was unusual in using girls rather than boys for this job. Daryl Hafter, ‘The Programmed Brocade Loom and the “Decline of the Drawgirl”’, in Virgins and Dynamos Revisited, ed. M. Moore Trescott (London, 1979), pp.49–66. 5 Colbert’s official titles were Contrôleur général des finances and then Directeur des manufactures et du commerce. 6 These dates are approximate because the masters’ registers do not survive. They are based on the date of registration of their sons. AML HH576: François Maupetit on 15 March 1677, f.16; Joseph Reverony on 31 December 1681, f.99; his brother Jacques on 25 November 1682, f.117. 7 Jacques Pernetti, Recherches pour servir à l’histoire de Lyon (Lyon, 1757), p.229. 8 AML HH598, f.256. Registered the same day for the fee of 24#; ADR 3E4687 Armand (Lyon): 9 May 1733 Aprentissage. 9  Daryl Hafter, ‘Women in the Underground Business of Eighteenth-Century Lyon’, Enterprise and Society 2 (March 2001), pp.11–41; Hafter 2007. 10 Olivier Le Goic, Lyon et la mer au xv i i ie siècle (Lyon, 2011); Privat-Savigny 2012. 11 AML HH620 Répertoire des noms et domiciles de chaque maître marchand fabricant, 1745–72; HH621 Livre d’enregistrement des maîtres marchands fabricants. 12 Arrizoli-Clémentel and Gastinel-Coural 1988, p.102. 13 The main sources on selling are: Peyrot 1973; Miller 1998; Miller forthcoming [2014]; Bayard 2007. 14 Richard Gascon, Grand commerce et vie urbaine au xvième siècle: Lyon et ses marchands (Paris, 1971). 15 Rothstein 1972, pp.35–6, citing the London Chronicle, 10–12 April 1764. 16 I am grateful to William Newton and Barbara Lasic for confirming this impression. 17 V&A: 67–1885. Dimensions when open 27 x 33cm. 18 Tim Blanning, The Pursuit of Glory (London, 2007), pp.3–39. 19 Sargentson 1996, chap.5. 20 Georges Reverdy, Histoire des routes lyonnaises (Lyon, 1994), pp.41–2, 47–8.

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The small samples attached to the letters salesmen sent to their clients were a rather different proposition from the weighty tome containing hundreds of samples that Robert Trott seized in 1764. The London Chronicle’s description of the Customs officer’s coup underlines the physical reality of dealing with such an object when it notes that ‘… a very large book of patterns of French wrought silks…’ had been seized from ‘the hands of some French agents which had for some time been carried about among the mercers and other dealers in the silk trade to engage them to become purchasers of the pieces’.15 That more than one French agent was involved in the tricky task of transporting the book around London comes as no surprise to anyone who has had to lift it. Its length, width, depth, weight, and inflexibility make it awkward to carry for any distance.16 An able-bodied individual might have moved it from one table to another in the same room without too much difficulty, from a high shelf to a lower table with the aid of another person, and similarly from one room to another, or from indoors to awaiting transport outdoors with help. In many respects it lends itself better to being consulted in situ, its custodian inviting viewings from prospective customers, in much the same way as the London Weavers Company arranged for small groups of English manufacturers to consult it in 1764. It is very different from the small and portable sample books sent out by textile manufacturers such as John Kelly of Norwich in the same years.17 The agents transporting this sample book may or may not have accompanied it from Lyon to London, some 458 miles (736.92km), probably by road, river and sea. Merchants used public rather than private transport for the dispatch of their goods and the passage of the salesmen who went out to sell their silks, French public transport having improved radically in the second half of the seventeenth century, particularly between towns that were major centres of commerce, such as Lyon.18 If they did, they probably took about a fortnight, presuming that London was their only intended destination, though it seems quite possible that they stopped en route, Paris being an obvious place to seek custom. Many of the manufacturers represented in this sample book were already supplying certain prestigious mercers there, so it is not inconceivable that the book was used on its way north.19 Two main routes led northwards from Lyon along well-established highways or waterways: the first, safest and most pleasant led through the valley of the Saône and Burgundy; the second, more hazardous because of the many mountains, led through the Bourbonnais and the Auvergne. In general the first route followed the road created by the Romans many centuries before and the foundations of the road familiar today as the Route Nationale 6 laid in the second half of the eighteenth century further facilitated road travel.20 From Paris, the likelihood is that the sample book travelled to either Dunkirk or Calais, and thence across the Channel to Dover and to London – and into the hands of Robert Trott.

1 BML Imprimé 354461 Mémoire sur l’envoi des échantillons de la Fabrique de Lyon, 1760, p.16. 2 Léon 1976, pp.xxvi, 113; Bayard in Bayard, Cayez and Pelletier 2007, pp.494–5; Bayard 2007, pp.56, 64. 3 The key secondary sources on which this chapter is based are: Godart [1899] 1976; Pariset 1901; Garden 1970; Peyrot 1973; Miller 1988; Poni 1997; Bayard 2007. 4 Lyon was unusual in using girls rather than boys for this job. Daryl Hafter, ‘The Programmed Brocade Loom and the “Decline of the Drawgirl”’, in Virgins and Dynamos Revisited, ed. M. Moore Trescott (London, 1979), pp.49–66. 5 Colbert’s official titles were Contrôleur général des finances and then Directeur des manufactures et du commerce. 6 These dates are approximate because the masters’ registers do not survive. They are based on the date of registration of their sons. AML HH576: François Maupetit on 15 March 1677, f.16; Joseph Reverony on 31 December 1681, f.99; his brother Jacques on 25 November 1682, f.117. 7 Jacques Pernetti, Recherches pour servir à l’histoire de Lyon (Lyon, 1757), p.229. 8 AML HH598, f.256. Registered the same day for the fee of 24#; ADR 3E4687 Armand (Lyon): 9 May 1733 Aprentissage. 9  Daryl Hafter, ‘Women in the Underground Business of Eighteenth-Century Lyon’, Enterprise and Society 2 (March 2001), pp.11–41; Hafter 2007. 10 Olivier Le Goic, Lyon et la mer au xv i i ie siècle (Lyon, 2011); Privat-Savigny 2012. 11 AML HH620 Répertoire des noms et domiciles de chaque maître marchand fabricant, 1745–72; HH621 Livre d’enregistrement des maîtres marchands fabricants. 12 Arrizoli-Clémentel and Gastinel-Coural 1988, p.102. 13 The main sources on selling are: Peyrot 1973; Miller 1998; Miller forthcoming [2014]; Bayard 2007. 14 Richard Gascon, Grand commerce et vie urbaine au xvième siècle: Lyon et ses marchands (Paris, 1971). 15 Rothstein 1972, pp.35–6, citing the London Chronicle, 10–12 April 1764. 16 I am grateful to William Newton and Barbara Lasic for confirming this impression. 17 V&A: 67–1885. Dimensions when open 27 x 33cm. 18 Tim Blanning, The Pursuit of Glory (London, 2007), pp.3–39. 19 Sargentson 1996, chap.5. 20 Georges Reverdy, Histoire des routes lyonnaises (Lyon, 1994), pp.41–2, 47–8.

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86

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Appendix 1 Technical analysis of fabric samples

This appendix is devised to satisfy the curiosity of professional colleagues familiar with the technical analysis of fabrics devised by the Centre International des Etudes des Textiles Anciens (CIETA). Seventeen different named woven structures in the book are analysed here using CIETA’s internationally recognized methods and terminology.

Angleterre, f.4v. 11 samples of checked silk (six of the samples are attached to the book with their warp horizontal). Stripes and bands are produced by changing the colours of the warp and weft. No.100 Width: 5.2cm, height: 5.2cm Weave structure: warp-faced plain weave with thick weft (also called gros de naples) Warp: silk, slight S-twist, x-ply, blue (32 ends) and red (48 ends), 88–92 ends/cm Weft: silk, no visible twist, x-ply, pale blue (22 passes) and white (6 passes), 32–36 picks/cm Batavia rayé et cadrillé, f.10v. 6 samples of different colours. Stripes and bands are produced by changing colours of the warp and weft. No.187 Width: 36cm, height: 6.8cm Weave structure: batavia in 2/2 twill S direction Warp: silk, slight S-twist, double, green, pink, red, dark red, yellow, black and white, 46–50 ends/cm Weft: silk, no visible twist, double, red and white, 38–40 picks/cm Boutida à mouche broché, f.11v. 4 samples, of which three are checked in different colours. Checks produced by changing the colours of the warp and weft. No.198 Width: 10.9 cm, height: 6.3 cm Weave structure: warp-faced plain weave with brocaded weft Warp: silk, slight S-twist, multi-ply, yellow, 44–48 ends/cm Weft: silk, no twist, multi-ply, yellow, 34–36 picks/cm Brocading weft: silk, no visible twist, x-ply, maroon

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Cannellé, f.13 13 samples of different colours. The ribs are produced by warp floats. No.232 Width: 27.3cm, height: 2.6cm Weave structure: irregular cannellé of three picks and one pick Warp: silk, slight S-twist, double, red, 68–70 ends/cm Weft, silk, no visible twist, x-ply, red, 40–42 picks/cm Cannellé velouté, f.13 2 samples of different colours. The ribs are produced by flushing warp floats on the face only, above a plain weave ground. No.233 Width: 13.2cm, height: 6cm Weave structure: cannelé simpleté of nine picks and one pick, every alternate main warp, with two different faces Main warp: silk, no visible twist, multi-ply, blue, 72–76 ends/cm Flushing warp: silk, S-twist, double, blue, 36–38 ends/cm Weft: silk, no visible twist, x-ply, blue, 38–40 picks/cm Cannetillé la royale, f.14v. 2 samples in black (top of page). Checks produced by flushing warp floats on the face only, above a plain weave ground. No.275 Width: 13.9cm, height: 5.9cm Weave structure: weave derived from cannelé simpleté of five picks and one pick, every alternate main warp and bound at intervals in groups of 12 by third weft, with two different faces Main warp: silk, slight S-twist, double, black, 64–66 ends/cm Flushing warp: silk, slight S-twist, x-ply, black, 30–34 ends/cm Weft: silk, no visible twist, x-ply, black, 28–30 picks/cm

Florence, f.7v. 2 samples of silk chiné à la branche, with woven stripes and bands. Stripes and bands are produced by changing colours of the warp and weft, while floral motifs produced by printing (or resist-dyeing) on warp thread before weaving. No.165 Width: 35.3cm, including one selvedge, height: 25cm Weave structure: balanced plain weave Warp: silk, single, slight S-twist, white, dark green, pink, dark pink and pale pink, 48 ends/ cm Weft: silk, single, no twist, white and pink, 48 passes/cm Printing: floral motif in green, pink and dark pink printed on warp threads before weaving Florentine, f.18 2 samples in two colour combinations. Two-tone damask. No.419 Width: 52.8cm, height: 13.4cm Weave structure: warp-faced 8-end satin, interruption 5, with pattern in 5/1 twill S direction, also called damas de Lyon. Different faces front and back. Warp: silk, slight S-twist, single, blue, 80–84 ends/cm Weft: silk, no visible twist, multi-ply, yellow, 36–40 picks/cm Gros de florence, f.4 11 samples of striped and banded shot silk in different colour combinations. Stripes are produced by changing the colours of the warp and changing its thickness. No.96 Width: 34.5cm, including one selvedge, height: 4.4cm Weave structure: warp-faced plain weave with thick weft (also called gros de naples) Warp: silk, slight S-twist, x-ply, green, shades of pink and red, 80–84 ends/cm Weft: silk, no visible twist, x-ply, pink (and presumably also white for band), 32–36 picks/cm

Gros de naples façonné, f.13v. 12 samples of different colours. Pattern produced by warp floats. No.247 Width: 13.7cm, height: 3.7cm Weave structure: self-patterned plain weave, with identical faces front and back (alternate warp floats of 7 picks) Warp: silk, S-twist, double, red, 68–72 ends/cm Weft: silk, no visible twist, x-ply, red, 30–34 picks/cm Hollandoise, f.14v. 1 sample in white (bottom). Warp chevron twill. No.284 Width: 15.2cm, height: 5.6cm Weave structure: chevron twill 3/2 (warp floats of three picks and two picks) in the warp direction Warp: silk, slight S-twist, double, white, 56–60 ends/cm Weft: silk, no visible twist, double, white, 38–42 picks/cm Italienne, f. 14v. 1 sample in black (second from top). Pattern produced by flushing warp floats above a plain weave ground. No.277 Width: 11.7cm, height: 6.1cm Weave structure: plain weave based binding system with repeating pattern of alternating warp floats in groups of two, three and four picks and two and three picks (similar to poil traînant weave, when flushing warp not needed for pattern on front, it floats on the reverse) Main warp: silk, no visible twist, double, black, 60–64 ends/cm Flushing warp: silk, slight S-twist, double, black, 30–34 ends/cm Weft: silk, no visible twist, x-ply, black, 20–24 passes/cm Jusurgent, f. 14v. 2 samples in black (third line from top). Checks produced by warp floats. No.280

Width: 15.8cm, height: 7.4cm Weave structure: plain weave based binding system with check pattern in groups of two warp floats of two picks but where the wefts separate after each group (possibly derived from natté weave) Warp: silk, slight S-twist, double, black, 60–64 ends/cm Weft: silk, no visible twist, double, black, 28–30 picks/cm Peau de poulle, f.14v. 1 sample in black (fourth from top). Pattern produced by warp floats. No.282 Width: 13.4cm, height: 5.7cm Weave structure: plain weave based binding system with alternating warp floats of two picks and one pick Warp: silk, slight S-twist, double, black, 64–68 ends/cm Weft: silk, no visible twist, x-ply, black, 24–26 picks/cm Prussiennes, f.2v. 4 samples in different colour combinations. The pattern is produced by warp floats. No.56 Width: 9.3cm, height: 4.2cm Weave structure: warp-faced plain weave with alternating warp floats Warp: silk, slight S-twist, double, red and white, 66–68 ends/cm Weft: silk, no visible twist, x-ply, red, 36–38 picks/cm Satins réduits, f.17v. 40 samples in various colour combinations. Satin weave with self pattern. No.381 Width: 10.2cm, height: 6.7cm Weave structure: warp-faced 9-end satin, interruption 5, with weft floats for pattern, called satin liseré, latté. Different faces front and back Warp: silk, slight S-twist, single, pale blue and dark blue, 90–96 ends/cm

Appendix 86


Appendix 1 Technical analysis of fabric samples

This appendix is devised to satisfy the curiosity of professional colleagues familiar with the technical analysis of fabrics devised by the Centre International des Etudes des Textiles Anciens (CIETA). Seventeen different named woven structures in the book are analysed here using CIETA’s internationally recognized methods and terminology.

Angleterre, f.4v. 11 samples of checked silk (six of the samples are attached to the book with their warp horizontal). Stripes and bands are produced by changing the colours of the warp and weft. No.100 Width: 5.2cm, height: 5.2cm Weave structure: warp-faced plain weave with thick weft (also called gros de naples) Warp: silk, slight S-twist, x-ply, blue (32 ends) and red (48 ends), 88–92 ends/cm Weft: silk, no visible twist, x-ply, pale blue (22 passes) and white (6 passes), 32–36 picks/cm Batavia rayé et cadrillé, f.10v. 6 samples of different colours. Stripes and bands are produced by changing colours of the warp and weft. No.187 Width: 36cm, height: 6.8cm Weave structure: batavia in 2/2 twill S direction Warp: silk, slight S-twist, double, green, pink, red, dark red, yellow, black and white, 46–50 ends/cm Weft: silk, no visible twist, double, red and white, 38–40 picks/cm Boutida à mouche broché, f.11v. 4 samples, of which three are checked in different colours. Checks produced by changing the colours of the warp and weft. No.198 Width: 10.9 cm, height: 6.3 cm Weave structure: warp-faced plain weave with brocaded weft Warp: silk, slight S-twist, multi-ply, yellow, 44–48 ends/cm Weft: silk, no twist, multi-ply, yellow, 34–36 picks/cm Brocading weft: silk, no visible twist, x-ply, maroon

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Cannellé, f.13 13 samples of different colours. The ribs are produced by warp floats. No.232 Width: 27.3cm, height: 2.6cm Weave structure: irregular cannellé of three picks and one pick Warp: silk, slight S-twist, double, red, 68–70 ends/cm Weft, silk, no visible twist, x-ply, red, 40–42 picks/cm Cannellé velouté, f.13 2 samples of different colours. The ribs are produced by flushing warp floats on the face only, above a plain weave ground. No.233 Width: 13.2cm, height: 6cm Weave structure: cannelé simpleté of nine picks and one pick, every alternate main warp, with two different faces Main warp: silk, no visible twist, multi-ply, blue, 72–76 ends/cm Flushing warp: silk, S-twist, double, blue, 36–38 ends/cm Weft: silk, no visible twist, x-ply, blue, 38–40 picks/cm Cannetillé la royale, f.14v. 2 samples in black (top of page). Checks produced by flushing warp floats on the face only, above a plain weave ground. No.275 Width: 13.9cm, height: 5.9cm Weave structure: weave derived from cannelé simpleté of five picks and one pick, every alternate main warp and bound at intervals in groups of 12 by third weft, with two different faces Main warp: silk, slight S-twist, double, black, 64–66 ends/cm Flushing warp: silk, slight S-twist, x-ply, black, 30–34 ends/cm Weft: silk, no visible twist, x-ply, black, 28–30 picks/cm

Florence, f.7v. 2 samples of silk chiné à la branche, with woven stripes and bands. Stripes and bands are produced by changing colours of the warp and weft, while floral motifs produced by printing (or resist-dyeing) on warp thread before weaving. No.165 Width: 35.3cm, including one selvedge, height: 25cm Weave structure: balanced plain weave Warp: silk, single, slight S-twist, white, dark green, pink, dark pink and pale pink, 48 ends/ cm Weft: silk, single, no twist, white and pink, 48 passes/cm Printing: floral motif in green, pink and dark pink printed on warp threads before weaving Florentine, f.18 2 samples in two colour combinations. Two-tone damask. No.419 Width: 52.8cm, height: 13.4cm Weave structure: warp-faced 8-end satin, interruption 5, with pattern in 5/1 twill S direction, also called damas de Lyon. Different faces front and back. Warp: silk, slight S-twist, single, blue, 80–84 ends/cm Weft: silk, no visible twist, multi-ply, yellow, 36–40 picks/cm Gros de florence, f.4 11 samples of striped and banded shot silk in different colour combinations. Stripes are produced by changing the colours of the warp and changing its thickness. No.96 Width: 34.5cm, including one selvedge, height: 4.4cm Weave structure: warp-faced plain weave with thick weft (also called gros de naples) Warp: silk, slight S-twist, x-ply, green, shades of pink and red, 80–84 ends/cm Weft: silk, no visible twist, x-ply, pink (and presumably also white for band), 32–36 picks/cm

Gros de naples façonné, f.13v. 12 samples of different colours. Pattern produced by warp floats. No.247 Width: 13.7cm, height: 3.7cm Weave structure: self-patterned plain weave, with identical faces front and back (alternate warp floats of 7 picks) Warp: silk, S-twist, double, red, 68–72 ends/cm Weft: silk, no visible twist, x-ply, red, 30–34 picks/cm Hollandoise, f.14v. 1 sample in white (bottom). Warp chevron twill. No.284 Width: 15.2cm, height: 5.6cm Weave structure: chevron twill 3/2 (warp floats of three picks and two picks) in the warp direction Warp: silk, slight S-twist, double, white, 56–60 ends/cm Weft: silk, no visible twist, double, white, 38–42 picks/cm Italienne, f. 14v. 1 sample in black (second from top). Pattern produced by flushing warp floats above a plain weave ground. No.277 Width: 11.7cm, height: 6.1cm Weave structure: plain weave based binding system with repeating pattern of alternating warp floats in groups of two, three and four picks and two and three picks (similar to poil traînant weave, when flushing warp not needed for pattern on front, it floats on the reverse) Main warp: silk, no visible twist, double, black, 60–64 ends/cm Flushing warp: silk, slight S-twist, double, black, 30–34 ends/cm Weft: silk, no visible twist, x-ply, black, 20–24 passes/cm Jusurgent, f. 14v. 2 samples in black (third line from top). Checks produced by warp floats. No.280

Width: 15.8cm, height: 7.4cm Weave structure: plain weave based binding system with check pattern in groups of two warp floats of two picks but where the wefts separate after each group (possibly derived from natté weave) Warp: silk, slight S-twist, double, black, 60–64 ends/cm Weft: silk, no visible twist, double, black, 28–30 picks/cm Peau de poulle, f.14v. 1 sample in black (fourth from top). Pattern produced by warp floats. No.282 Width: 13.4cm, height: 5.7cm Weave structure: plain weave based binding system with alternating warp floats of two picks and one pick Warp: silk, slight S-twist, double, black, 64–68 ends/cm Weft: silk, no visible twist, x-ply, black, 24–26 picks/cm Prussiennes, f.2v. 4 samples in different colour combinations. The pattern is produced by warp floats. No.56 Width: 9.3cm, height: 4.2cm Weave structure: warp-faced plain weave with alternating warp floats Warp: silk, slight S-twist, double, red and white, 66–68 ends/cm Weft: silk, no visible twist, x-ply, red, 36–38 picks/cm Satins réduits, f.17v. 40 samples in various colour combinations. Satin weave with self pattern. No.381 Width: 10.2cm, height: 6.7cm Weave structure: warp-faced 9-end satin, interruption 5, with weft floats for pattern, called satin liseré, latté. Different faces front and back Warp: silk, slight S-twist, single, pale blue and dark blue, 90–96 ends/cm

Appendix 86

Profile for V&A Publishing

Selling Silks: A Merchant's Sample Book  

In 1764, British Customs confiscated a book containing hundreds of silk samples of different qualities from French agents who were attemptin...

Selling Silks: A Merchant's Sample Book  

In 1764, British Customs confiscated a book containing hundreds of silk samples of different qualities from French agents who were attemptin...

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