06 Sep washable upholstery material
It is only a wonderfully warm and sensible symphony of colours and comfort, created by John Fowler and Lady Hambleden.
I’m glad I’ve a cause to use this image once more: it exhibits the topic of this post… the chandelier
sock; the fabric wrapping across the chain that the chandelier hangs from the ceiling with. I do not know if there is a extra frequent title for these bits of fabric but I have all the time known as them that.
They had been a common function in rooms that John Fowler had had a hand in; another well-known example is Nancy Lancaster’s yellow drawing room in London, now a part of the Colefax & Fowler head office.
Lately I talked about these fabric socks with a friend and he put them down as ‘…somewhat 60s and decoratorey’ , which was clearly not a very good factor. I suppose this was the legacy of John Fowler speaking and the various imitators of his type. Chandelier socks had been lumped together with these broad ribbons and bows that pictures were hung from in the 80s (more about them perhaps in another publish).
Nevertheless, after i appeared by means of my photographs I discovered examples throughout the nineteenth century; chandelier socks have been in every single place, Except …. in England. So the place Britain is worried my good friend may well have been proper (with 1 exception which I’ll present), however in the rest of Europe they had been broadly used from the age of Napoleon onwards.
The earliest I have discovered dates from 1810, and it depicts, in truth, one in all Napoleon’s sisters, Caroline Murat, in a room at the Elysee palace in Paris, two years after he made her husband King of Naples.
This was the ‘Silver Salon’ on the ground ground of what’s now the Presidential Palace, with terrribly smart silvered furnishings that was upholstered in pink taffeta and embroidered with silver. The chandelier sock is clearly conceived as a part of this scheme.
Only one 12 months later her drawing room in Naples was depicted with a chandelier chain lined in cream fabric and gold fringe, much like the rest of the room.
This picture reveals what I like so much about these artistic interior views. Not only do they provide an astonishing amount of historic detail, but in addition they depict rooms in a way that images might never have finished. Trying on the ceiling and the carpet you understand that we see your complete room, not only one finish of a room that was actually for much longer. To replicate this image on film, you must remove one entire aspect of the room ! It is like a stage set, and this particular perspective has never actually existed.
So from around this time these chandelier chains wrapped in fabric develop into frequent in images from France, Italy, Germany and Russia. Right from the beginning they appear to have been part of the decorative scheme. Palatial interiors tended to be very colour coordinated and I’ve found only one or two photos the place the fabric used for the chandelier shouldn’t be within the dominant color of the room.
Within the 1820s this lovely personal room within the Royal Palace in Munich, had gorgeous wall paper, an interesting glazed door and a chandelier sock that matched the curtain pelmets.
Another lovely room the place absolutely every part matched and coordinated, was in one of many outer pavilions of Tuileries Palace, and it depicts the Duchess de Berry together with her son in 1822. The upholstery used many meters of braid, but the chandelier sock was fairly easy and possibly in the identical fabric because the walls and the curtains.
More European pictures later, however now the query of Britain, where evidently exposing the chandelier chain was most popular over wrapping it in silk. There are such a lot of views of 19th century British interiors and in all of those I discovered only one single image with a chandelier sock, in a view from 1823 :
It’s at Cassiobury Park and the fabric matches the room. I significantly love the painted ceiling and the illusion of an open sky where a big hen is flying round, conveniently carrying a chandelier. It reminds me of one of the rooms within the Royal Pavillion in Brighton, constructed for the Prince Regent (later King George IV). There a large Chinese language dragon flies by way of the sky carrying the chandelier. I nonetheless remember being mesmerised by this idea when i saw it aged 14.
The Prince Regent loved all the pieces french and his interiors are of an unimaginable opulence Except … for the chandelier chains. One almost suspects he had a personal dislike for them. On the time that in Paris they had been clearly utilized in the smartest interiors, his excessively upholstered rooms had chandeliers with uncovered chains.
In 1820 the Rose Satin Room was entirely hung with … effectively, rose satin, which must have seemed incredible, but was there no little bit left over to cover the chandelier chain with ? This was in Carlton House Palace and the quantity of fabric used for these rooms is completely excessive, and yet in none of them the chandelier chain has a fabric cowl.
What you do sometimes see in English rooms is a chandelier hung from ropes and tassles; Right here, in Buckingham house (later the Palace) this is made in the same colour because the slightly splendid curtains.
Maybe this was a pully system that allowed for the chandelier to come back down and this may increasingly explain the lack of fabric socks: perhaps in Britain they used to decrease the chandeliers in a unique method, which meant that the fabric was impractical …? Even so, there are numerous photos of opulent interiors, all through the nineteenth century where you suppose “If this had been the continent there would have been fabric round that chain”.
So, back to the continent and on to these marvelous pictures of the Winter Palace that the Imperial family commissioned all by means of the century. The detail of those views are unbelievable and that i want I could present all of them. The non-public entrance was fairly an austere and masculine room, and but the chandelier (an oil or gasoline lamp?) is hung from a fabric sock, matching the crimson of the carpet.
I end with a couple of those unbelievable interior views of the Winter Palace. Many rooms had chandelier socks. Here is the Dressing Room of Empress Maria Alexandrovna from the 1840s.