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Article

Jennifer Wearden

English town in Devon, situated on the River Axe, known as a centre of carpet production from the mid-18th century to the mid-19th. In 1755 Thomas Whitty (d 1792), a weaver from Axminster, visited Pierre Parisot’s carpet workshop in Fulham, London. An apprentice showed him the workshop, and on his return to Axminster Whitty built a large vertical loom, taught his daughters to tie the symmetrical or Ghiordes knot (see Carpet, §I, 1) and began to produce carpets. In 1757 he submitted a carpet measuring 4.9×3.8 m to the Royal Society of Arts and was awarded a joint prize with Thomas Moore (c. 1700–1788; see Carpet, §II, 2, (iii)) of Chiswell Street, London. Whitty valued his carpet at £15 and the Society ruled it the best carpet in proportion to its price. In 1758 he was asked to submit three carpets and shared the prize with ...

Article

Bruges  

Jacques Thiébaut, Jean C. Wilson, Erik Duverger and Leo de Ren

[Flem. Brugge]

Belgian city in western Flanders on the River Reie, c. 12 km inland from Zeebrugge. It flourished particularly from the 13th century to the 15th, when it was an international port and centre of the cloth trade. Under the patronage of the Dukes of Burgundy, from 1384 the arts flourished in the city, drawing to Bruges such painters as Jan van Eyck, Hans Memling, and Gerard David (see §II below). With the silting of the outlets to the sea and the withdrawal of the leading merchant houses to Antwerp, the city’s prosperity was reduced in the 16th century. Now with a population of c. 120,000, Bruges survives as one of the best-preserved medieval cities in Europe.

The medieval core of Bruges is contained within the line of the 14th-century walls (destr.), c. 8 km in circumference, and which are almost entirely encircled by canals. The urban plan is centred on two squares, Burg (...

Article

Buczacz  

Zdisław Żygulski jr

Town in Podolia, Ukraine, formerly in Polish territory, known as a centre for weaving in the 18th and 19th centuries. In the 18th century the town belonged to the magnate family Potocki, and the art of weaving kilims with floral designs flourished. About 1870 Oskar Potocki founded a large factory to produce wall hangings made of silk interwoven with gold and silver thread. These hangings carried on the Polish tradition of brocade weaving but were made on mechanical looms. They are distinguished by subtle shades of pink, orange and red, with tiny motifs, or are predominantly gold with a beautiful sheen. They were expensive and much prized by connoisseurs. The workshop labels, which give the size of each piece (usually about 1.5×2.5 m), show the Pilawa coat of arms of the Potocki family (a cross with two-and-a-half arms), the name Buczacz and sometimes the initials AP for Artur Potocki, the manager. These were woven in or stitched on a separate piece of fabric. ...

Article

Isabelle Denis

French town in the Gironde département, on the River Garonne. A notable tapestry workshop was briefly in existence at the château of Cadillac in the 17th century. The Director, Claude de la Pierre (1605–60), previously head of a workshop in the Faubourg S Marcel, Paris, had been engaged by the Duc d’Epernon (1554–1642) in March 1632. The following year eight other Parisian weavers joined him. With the three workers already there they completed the twenty-seven pieces depicting the Life of Henry III, of which only the Battle of Jarnac (1632–7; Paris, Louvre) still exists. The cartoon maker for these works is unknown. The archaic composition juxtaposes with a certain lack of skill several successive episodes in the action. The weaving is fine and regular, with subdued colours in blue and yellow. The ruin of the House of Epernon led to the closure of the Cadillac workshop in ...

Article

Enghien  

Erik Duverger

[Flem. Edingen.]

Belgian town in Hainault, approximately halfway between Brussels and Tournai. Tapestry production in Enghien probably began in the late 14th century or early 15th. Michiel Betten is mentioned as early as 1410 as a tapestryworker, and Herman Betten in 1445, although it is not clear whether or not the industry was well established at this time. The weavers of Enghien had, however, already gained a certain reputation: during the first half of the 15th century two tapestryworkers were resident in Brussels who may have originally come from Enghien.

In 1457 Jan de Doeve and Bartholomeus vander Hage were contracted by Jacques de Riva Mertijn, a Spanish merchant in Antwerp, to deliver 160 ells of verdures for which he provided the cartoons. In 1469 Louis de Luxembourg, Count of Saint-Pol and Lord of Enghien, increased the privileges of the tapestry-weavers by setting up an annual fair. The Count was beheaded on the orders of Louis XI in ...

Article

Esna  

John Baines

[anc. Egyp. Ta-senet, Gr. Latopolis.]

Egyptian city c. 55 km south of Luxor on the Nile. Inhabited since ancient times, Esna remains important as the terminus of one of the main caravan routes between Egypt and the Sudan, and as a centre of textile production. The only ancient building to survive is part of the Greco-Roman Temple of Khnum, but Deir Manayus wa Shuhada (the ‘Monastery of the Martyrs’), a 4th-century ad Coptic foundation, lies 6 km to the south-west, and the Ottoman mosque of el-Amri in the town centre retains a brick-built minaret of the Fatimid period (ad 969–1171).

The Temple of Khnum, now reduced to its hypostyle hall, formed the core of a complex including a quay (in situ) and a processional approach (untraced); this was related to four further complexes (almost entirely lost) in the region. The earlier, inner part of the temple is represented by its front wall, which was incorporated into the hall and now forms its rear wall. It has carved relief decoration dating to the reigns of Ptolemy VI Philometor (...

Article

Erik Duverger

[Flem. Geraardsbergen]

Belgian town in East Flanders. Situated in the approximate middle of the triangle created by Oudenaarde, Enghien and Aalst, the town was a centre of tapestry production in the 16th century, although little is known about the industry there. It has been conjectured that at the end of the 15th century Cornelis van Bomberghen (fl 1492–1508), an important Antwerp dealer, had in his stock six tapestry cushions made in Grammont that were decorated with fruit. In the oldest census documents or other records of the period, weavers are not mentioned. Most of them were probably employed in the countryside outside the city gates. They made fallacious use of various city marks, including those of Oudenaarde and Enghien. The general ordinance of 1544 concerning the tapestry industry in Flanders did not mention Grammont. Production did, however, exist: between c. 1540 and 1550 Peter Borremans headed a large workshop in Grammont, although there were complaints about the quality of his work. Between ...

Article

City in Saxony-Anhalt, north-central Germany, and capital of Harz. Although badly damaged in World War II it still has remnants of the medieval period, including St Stephan’s Cathedral (13th century) and the Liebfrauenkirche (12th century). Halberstadt is known for three important locally made tapestries: Abraham and Isaac (c. 1150), which is the earliest surviving large-scale European wall tapestry, the Apostles tapestry of c. 1170–75, and the Charlemagne of the 1230s (all Halberstadt Cathedral, Treasury). The earliest northern European knotted carpets were made in the same region. A rare surviving example (Quedlinburg, Domschatz) was made by the nuns of the Quedlinburg convent and donated c. 1200.

See also Germany, Federal Republic of §XI 4..

A. Erler: Der Halberstädter Karls- oder Philosophenteppich (Frankfurt am Main, 1989) G. Leopold: ‘Die ehemaligen Lattner des 13. Jahrhunderts im Dom und in der Liebfrauenkirche in Halberstadt’, Sber. Kstgesch. Ges. Berlin, vol. 40 (1991–2), pp. 8–9...

Article

Jennifer Wearden

English town in West Yorkshire. The cloth trade thrived in Halifax from the 13th century. The fine Piece Hall, built as a cloth market in 1775 by Thomas Bradley, housed over 315 merchants’ rooms; the central open rectangular space is surrounded by two- and three-storey colonnades. The town is now chiefly important as a centre of carpet manufacture.

The firm of J. Crossley & Sons is synonymous with the production of carpets in Halifax and has been responsible for introducing some of the most far-reaching innovations in machine-produced floor coverings. The firm was founded by John Crossley (d 1837), a hand-loom weaver who set up his own weaving shed at nearby Dean Clough in 1803. By 1833 the venture was profitable enough to enable the company to purchase from Richard Whytock of Edinburgh, for £10,000, the patents for weaving warp-printed carpets (see Carpet §II 2., (iv)), a technique that became especially associated with Crossley’s and which made Halifax the centre for such production in England. The task of printing the design on to the warp threads before weaving was laborious and dirty but made it possible for designers to incorporate up to 150 colours, although in practice a total of 30 to 40 colours was more common. As the entire pile warp was raised to form each row of loops, carpets could be woven at considerable speed. Two qualities of carpet were produced: ‘Tapestry Brussels’, with uncut loops, and ‘Tapestry Velvets’, with cut pile . Some of the first power looms to be used in the carpet industry were installed at Dean Clough in ...

Article

Jennifer Wearden

English town in Hereford & Worcs, known as a centre of carpet production. By the end of the 16th century, if not earlier, weavers in Kidderminster were producing a strong, woollen cloth that served as an inexpensive floor covering and was commonly known as Kidderminster or Scotch carpeting (see Carpet §I 5.). In 1735 a Mr Pearsall drew together individual weavers, establishing the first factory devoted to the production of double-cloth floor covering in Kidderminster; within a few years several other factories had also been established. In 1749 a weaver was brought from Belgium to build Brussels looms, thus breaking Wilton’s monopoly of the Brussels carpet (see Wilton §2). These Brussels carpets, together with Wilton carpets, soon became the main products of Kidderminster, outselling the traditional flat-weave coverings. In 1812 Thomas Lea patented a technique for weaving a triple-cloth floor covering which, though popular, was still inferior to pile carpets in durability. In ...

Article

Article

Leo de Ren

[Fr. Malines]

City in northern Belgium, known for its production of gold, silver and lace. By 1254 the gold- and silversmiths of Mechelen constituted an independent group within the collective guild of St Eloi. The earliest documents relating to a separate union and statutes date from the 14th century. Gold- and silversmiths as well as other artists experienced a period of great prosperity in the following centuries, encouraged partly by the temporary residency of Margaret of York, Duchess of Burgundy. Margaret of Austria, Duchess of Savoy and Regent of the Netherlands (see Habsburg, House of family §I, (4)), had her permanent residence there in the 16th century. After a period of decline at the end of the 16th century and in the 17th, the number of silversmiths increased significantly in the 18th century, as did the influence exerted by this centre. The most prominent gold- and silversmiths were members of the ...

Article

Gordon Campbell

French centre of lace production. In the 19th century Mirecourt became the principal centre for lacemaking in Lorraine. By 1860 there were 600 lacemakers in the town and thousands more in the surrounding villages. The characteristic lace of the area consisted of hand-made patterns of flowers and sprigs attached to machine-made net....

Article

Gordon Campbell and Ken Brand

English city and county town of Nottinghamshire. The city (population c. 280,000) is situated on the slopes of a hill on the River Trent 128 miles north of London in the East Midlands; it has been an important textile centre since the Middle Ages and was especially known for its lace industry.

Ken Brand

Settlement there originated in a 9th-century Anglo-Saxon burgh, Snotingeham, which was the homestead of the Snot family. In the 11th century a Norman borough was established in the vicinity of a castle (1068) built by William Peverel (fl 1060s) for William I. Until Richard III’s death at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485, the castle continued to be the favourite royal residence in the Midlands; it served as a Parliamentarian bastion during the Civil War (1642–51) before being destroyed in 1651. Two new parish churches, St Peter’s and St Nicholas’s (rebuilt 1670s), were built and the old Saxon church of St Mary rebuilt by the Normans. In addition to its textile industry, in the Middle Ages Nottingham was the main centre for the ...

Article

Erik Duverger

[Fr. Audenarde]

Belgian town in East Flanders situated on the River Scheldt [Flem. Schelde, Fr. Escaut]. It was once an important centre of the Flemish tapestry industry. As was the case in most Flemish cities, the tapestry-weavers were originally members of the wool-weavers’ guild until an independent tapestry-weavers’ guild was set up in 1441. By this time the tapestry industry was flourishing. Weavers were active in Oudenaarde and Pamele as well as in some ten neighbouring towns. These provincial weaving factories were characteristic of the region: during their free time a farmer and his household would produce one or more tapestries for a merchant weaver who, on Sundays and holidays, would deliver the completed work to the nearest city and take home new commissions. In 1539, according to the bailiff of Oudenaarde, there were 12,000 persons who made their living in this way in and around the town. There was a considerable gulf between the large entrepreneurs—the so-called merchant weavers—and the small outworkers. One merchant weaver might sometimes control 50 smaller cottage industries. The latter received wool on credit, and the resulting tight credit system tied them to their patron. Oudenaarde tapestries were sold primarily in the markets in Tournai and Bruges during the 15th century. During the 16th century the tapestry work was exported through Antwerp to cities throughout western and southern Europe. In ...

Article

Giuseppe Pinna

[anc. Placentia]

Italian city and provincial capital of Emilia-Romagna, situated about 68 km south-east of Milan. An agricultural and industrial centre, the city (population c. 107,000) is a communication hub close to the River Po, and it contains a splendid legacy of medieval and Renaissance art. The original settlement became a Roman colony of Cisalpine Gaul in 218 bc as the municipium of Placentia, and its commercial importance developed as a direct result of its position at the end of the Roman Via Emilia. The regular layout of the Roman settlement still dominates the urban plan of Piacenza, while its commercial importance continued under subsequent rule by the Lombards (ad 570) and Franks (ad 774). The church of S Antonino (originally the cathedral, 4th–9th centuries) was one of the first buildings in the medieval centre; it was rebuilt in the 11th century to a design influenced by northern European styles, in which a Greek cross (subsequently latinized) is surmounted by a tall octagonal lantern. Some of the internal frescoes, which are related to miniatures commissioned by ...

Article

Prato  

Italian city in Tuscany. It lies on the River Bisenzio, c. 14 km north-west of Florence, and has a population of c. 145,000. It is a centre of the textiles industry, which was begun in the Middle Ages. The area was inhabited from the Bronze Age: signs of an Etrusco-Roman settlement have been found in the city centre, and there was a military settlement here during the Roman period. The town that grew up around the 9th-century church of S Stefano (now the cathedral) is first mentioned in documents from ad 998. At that time Prato was part of the vast domain ruled by the Alberti family, Counts of Prato. From c. 1000 Prato expanded as its commercial and industrial activities developed, despite numerous internal struggles and wars with neighbouring cities. From early medieval times Prato was famous for its textiles, particularly the production of woollen fabrics; by the 13th century cloth was being exported all over Europe, and in the next century its trade was further expanded by the merchant and banker ...

Article

Słuck  

Zdisław Żygulski jr

[now Slutsk, nr Minsk, Belorussia]

Town, formerly in Polish territory. It was famous in the 18th century as a centre for textile production. At that period the town belonged to the Radziwiłł family, and the first workshop to produce silk sashes was established c. 1743 by Michał Kazimierz Radziwiłł (1702–62). Colourful silk sashes, often brocaded with gold or silver thread, were then the principal ornament of Polish dress. The early sashes imitated the Persian or Indian fashion. They were imported from Istanbul or made by Armenians settled in Poland. In 1758 Jan Madżarski, an Armenian master weaver formerly in charge of the Stanisławów workshop, took over as head of the workshop at Słuck. During the following 20 years he brought it to prosperity and made it famous throughout Poland. He was succeeded by his son Leon Madżarski.

A new style in sashes was introduced in Słuck, reflecting Polish rather than oriental taste, and manufactories and other workshops later followed this model. A ‘Słuck’ sash usually has small horizontal sections with floral patterns, and it is divided vertically into two different colours. The front face has a sheen due to the gold or silver threads, and the back is matt. This gives four colour schemes, each suitable for the different ...