As part of my Winterthur tour, I was treated to a behind the scenes tour of their textile collection. Curator Linda Eaton, who by the way is incredibly knowledgeable, took us into the bowels of the house where boxes and boxes of textiles are carefully stored. Textiles like this one- an antique English valance:
Isn't the craftsmanship amazing?
Some of my favorite pieces were the antique Indian Palampores. This one, below, is simply stunning in person. Would you believe that it's early 18th century? It's in pristine condition.
As it was in the days of Henry Francis du Pont, curtains, pelmets, and slipcovers are changed out seasonally. Winterthur has a room that's devoted entirely to curtain storage! There are racks and racks of out of season curtains, while pelmet covers are carefully hung on the wall. Many of the curtains have tags sewn into the lining identifying which season they should be displayed. I wish I had taken a photo, but I was so amazed at the sight of this space that I simply forgot!
One of the greatest surprises to me was Mr. du Pont's bedcover in the master bedroom.
Does the fabric look familiar? Remember these photos from my recent posts?
Braquenié's Tree of Life print as seen in Givenchy's country manor and Braquenié's "Le Rocher" print.
I couldn't believe my eyes when I entered Mr. du Pont's bedroom and saw this fabric. It was almost identical to the Braquenié prints I've been obsessing about as of late. Linda explained that the du Pont fabric is yet another antique Indian Palampore with the Tree of Life motif. Many of these Indian prints were copied by European textile makers back in the 18th century.
It's crazy how this print seems to be everywhere I look!
The day ended with a tour of Winterthur's Licensing group. In case you didn't know, Winterthur has teamed up with companies like Stark, Brunschwig & Fils, Kravet, Currey & Company, and others to design lines of products that have been inspired by or are replicas of items in the Winterthur collection. The paper above, a Chinoiserie print, is part of the Winterthur Collection for Stark. As lovely as this paper is, my favorite is this one:
How beautiful is that? You should visit Winterthur's website for a complete list of product partners. There are a lot of nifty things in these collections!