COLLECTION: Textiles

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Valance fragment

1780-1800
Origin: France
7 1/2 inches H x 18 3/4 inches W
Cotton
Gift of F. Schumacher and Company.
Acc. No. 1974-4
Fragment of a scalloped valance for bed or window, block-printed in a design of coiling leafy vines enclosing individual sprays of roses, carnations, and bluebells set on angles and alternating in arrangement, printed in red, pink, pencil blue, and yellow overprinted with blue to form green. The ground is textured with small red dots, often called "picotage." All edges are cut and left raw.
Label:This small textile is a fragment of a scalloped bed valance, designed to be placed around the top of a tall-post curtained bed. The pattern is created by wood blocks, along with blue brushed on after printing, so-called “pencil blue.” The pin dot effect in the ground, usually called “picotage,” was achieved by inserting numerous metal wires into the block. The wires gave a textural effect in the printing.