Tuesday, June 7, 2011

18th Century Savonnerie Carpets

Savonnerie carpets (Savonnerie tapisserie) were the finest of the knotted-pile carpets produced at the Savonnerie manufactory which was established in a former soap factory near Paris in 1615 by Pierre Dupont. In 1627 Louis XIII granted a patent (privilege) of eighteen years to Dupont and his former apprentice Simon Lourdet to produce these carpets. Under the agreement, until 1768 these carpets were exclusively the property of the French Crown.

These carpets were made of a mixture of wool and a small quantity of silk and had about ninety knots to the square inch. Though the initially produced carpets were imitations of Persian carpets, gradually the Savonnerie style evolved incorporating French designs by renowned artists of the time. The designs of the carpets typically had plants, floral designs and medallions woven against attractive backgrounds of black, deep blue or brown colors and often had multiple borders.

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