Thank goodness for those great old prints that keep on keepin' on, and we have Brunschwig & Fils to thank for many of them. There is Le Lac, Les Touches, La Portugaise, and another print whose name does not begin with a le, la, or les: Chinese Leopard Toile. I've long admired this peculiar print, one in which in Chinese scenes are surrounded by intertwining red garlands, all set against a backdrop of leopard spots. I think that this eccentricity is what makes the print so charming.
I did a bit of digging, and thanks to a 1966 New York Times article, I found out that Chinese Leopard Toile was not only a favorite of Elsie de Wolfe but of Billy Baldwin too. (In the article, Mrs. Brunschwig said that Baldwin used "lots and lots" of this fabric.) I have consulted all of my books that contain de Wolfe and Baldwin interiors, and unfortunately I can't find a single photo which shows their use of the fabric. I did manage to find a McMillen Inc. designed interior in which the fabric was used on chairs and curtains, and I also uncovered a photo from an old House & Garden book.
According to the Times article, the original colorway for Chinese Leopard Toile was shades of red and blue, though a version with a yellow background was later added. Fortunately for us, both are still available. In both the McMillen and House & Garden photos below, it appears that the colorway used is different from what Brunschwig currently offers.
While I get that this print isn't for everybody, it has such an interesting history that it should be admitted to Fabric Hall of Fame- if there was such a thing. Oh, and cost of Chinese Leopard Toile in 1966? $5.80 a yard!
Chinese Leopard Toile as used by the designers at McMillen Inc.
Designer Rhoda Bright chose the print for window shades and a mattress cover.
You can see a close-up of the two colorways currently available. I pulled these two samples at the Brunschwig & Fils/Lee Jofa showroom at ADAC.