|18th Century French Aubusson Tapestry Cushion / Pillow|
Cushions - or pillows as they are the other side of the pond - are a great way of adding instant chateau-chic to a room. Tapestry has, of course, been used for centuries to enliven and warm the cold, draughty rooms of French chateaux and the echoing stone halls of great English country houses. No longer needed so much for this purpose in these days of central heating, wonderful large tapestries - hand woven in France and elsewhere - are stunning decorative elements in more modest as well as Stately Homes.
Over the centuries original tapestries have been moved, adapted, cut to fit new environments or -in many cases - almost left to moulder away. Of course there are many great survivors of the Aubusson, Gobelins and other great tapisseries of France, of Flemish weavers and of Mortlake and others in England. However, these are also expensive.
More affordable are cushions made from old tapestry borders or from recovered parts of large tapestries. A fragment of an eighteenth century Aubusson tapestry border was used to make the above cushion. The rather savage-looking, hare - or rabbit - is surrounded by verdure with part of the original border (of the border!) below.
I have managed to find hand-woven French tapestry borders and fragments from the 16th (rather rare) to the early 19th centuries and enjoy extending their lives into the future by making them into cushions.
|A Group of cushions from an 18th century Aubusson Verdure tapestry|
|Cushion from an 18th century vertical Aubusson border with a Chateau|