Thursday, February 24, 2011

Let's Table the Textile Discussion




Back in my mid-twenties, I bought a vintage Kittinger Regency dining room table that came with two leaves. It seemed quite grown up at the time, and I just knew that I was going to host seated dinners for 14. After I moved into my condo a few years ago, I realized that this grown-up table was, well, a little too mature and staid. Not really my style anymore. And those dinner parties for 14? Turns out that 8 tended to be the maximum number of guests at my dinners.

So, I set out to sell the table. Have you tried to unload a Kittinger dining table recently? Nobody seems to want them anymore. It's a shame, really, because the table is really well made and actually quite attractive. But nobody wants something this traditional anymore. Realizing that I was stuck with the table, I took it apart and now use one half as a small breakfast table in my kitchen. The other half got moved into my living room where it serves as a drinks table, a repository for books, and at times a small dining table for two.

I'd love to find some type of cloth for the living room half as the table is a tad too dark brown for me. What I would love to find is an antique textile to drape over the table.


I'm absolutely in love with this cotton mezzara from Genoa, c. 1860s. It's available through Soane Antiques. That gorgeous shot at the top of the post is from Soane Antiques' website as well, and it shows the mezzara in the background. Of course, if I were to use something like this on my table, the overall design would kind of get lost. But still, it's awfully beautiful.



This is only a fragment of an antique Palampore from India, early 18th c., also available through Soane Antiques. Perhaps I could find a reproduction Palampore that would be large enough to use a cloth.



What about something similar to this Indian export 18th c. chintz panel from Cora Ginsburg?



Switching gears a bit, this early 20th century Chinese wedding blanket, available at Kathleen Taylor The Lotus Collection, might work as a more modern looking alternative to the more traditional Indian prints seen above.






Of course, it doesn't have to actually be an antique. I've thought a lot about Nick Olsen's hand-block print bedspread from William Wayne. It's really good looking. Why couldn't I use a bedspread as a table cloth? I may have to call William Wayne and inquire about one.


Top image from Soane Antiques; Olsen photo from New York Social Diary, Jeff Hirsch photographer.

22 comments:

  1. Other options: a quilt (I use one on our dining room table in the country) or a 1920s embroidered Chinese shawl with foot-long fringe (I use one on our dining table in the city). And for dining tables indoors and out, I've used more inexpensive Indian-print cotton bedspreads Urban Outfitters than I care to count. They come in very handy.

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  2. The cotton mazzara is absolutley breathtaking...all of them but that one and the colors..wow! Love the idea of waht you want to do, I don't think there are any hard and fast rules, bedspread, any textile for that matter as long as the colors and feel is right.

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  3. I own an enormous piece of brocade, actually three widths sewn together - large scale pattern - that was once a wall panel, and a very beautiful thing. Sits in a folded pile in my studio. I toy with the idea of using it as a hanging behind our black lacquer chinoiserie cabinet - your first photo shows the effect I'm looking for, but I cannot get the idea past the discussion stage.

    I'll show it to you next week.

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  4. I always forget about Urban Outfitters. I'll go check out their bedspreads.

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  5. I know about selling things like your Kittinger table - when we were emptying my mother's house, no one wanted to take any of her very nice reproduction furniture - she had Kittinger, vintage Baker etc. That being said, I love your idea. Love both the mezzara and the Palampore. Do you know Debra from Acquired Objects - she has the most beautiful antique textiles. And I am of course obsessed with Soane - did 3 straight days on them in the fall after meeting with the lovely Sarah Meeke. As for the new bedspreads - these were totally "in" when I was a teenager - had one on my bed in college. The patterns are great they just don't have the texture!

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  6. Quintessence- I'm not familiar with Acquired Objects; must check it out ASAP!

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  7. The French company, Beauville has a similar cloth/wall hanging...gorgeous...you might want to check it out..

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  8. I have used a vintage matellese spread on my dining table and it always looks great--and different and rich. Happy hunting.

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  9. Whenever I visit William Wayne, I purchase another of those fab bedspreads which I always use a tablecloths! So gorgeous and reasonably priced. Purchase four--one for each season! Best on an oblong table.

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  10. The first shot reminds me of Bracquenie fabric; they have one with a huge repeat featuring a tree and the coloration is simple. Indian tablecloths are given some needed visual weight when a cut-to-fit flannel underlayment is provided. And if an antique fragment is not large enough, it might be used in conjunction with a cloth of cashmere or billiard table felt made to the desired size.

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  11. Immediately call William & Wayne, that is the way to go!
    Love it.

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  12. Hi...Quintessence sent me over to check out your textiles and great choices. You can always use most anything but be careful when using an antique textile, you can't or shouldn't actually use it for anything but a decorative item. I don't have any textiles on my blog but I have a web site if you're interested in textiles. If you don't see what you're looking for just ask I might have it!


    Debra,
    www.Oreillers.com

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  13. I have used a matellese spread (new or vintage)as a table cover. You are soo smart to reuse your table+kudos! Urban Outfitters is surely a grand place to search. Good hunting. xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

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  14. Hold on to your table I'm sure in the near future you will find a market for it ...in the east Kittinger is very sought after and 1st dibs will give you an idea of its true value...

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  15. What about a flat weave rug? Indestructible!

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  16. Anonymous8:49 PM

    If I can use a matelasse tablecloth as a bedspread, then you could most certainly use a bedspread as a tablecloth. Let us see what you decide on.

    Karen T.

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  17. Anonymous7:40 PM

    Love the top photo - gorgeous! Would love to see some sneak peaks of your projects, including the Kittinger table(s). I have very traditional furniture so this is great inspiration!

    Mary

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  18. This is the sort of advice that I'm quite hopeless at (for once, the Dilettante has no opinion), and your taste is superb, so I know it will turn out well. What really brings me to keyboard is your spot on observation about how suddenly no one wants traditional furniture---which is actually sort of terrible, because people, like thee, who know what they're doing, can make anything look right and fresh...good is good, regardless of style---and suddenly people are forgetting that.

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  19. So funny. My Regency table is now in my parent's basement while I give the Saarinen pedistal a go. They think we are crazy.

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  20. J --

    I'm in heaven with these images. Love the old and new palampores.

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  21. Anonymous11:34 PM

    Why not strip the table and lime it?

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  22. Lovely photos you have shared specially that bedroom.

    Angelo H

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