See more objects with the color wheat darkslategrey darkolivegreen darkgrey olivedrab or see all the colors for this object.

Object Timeline

1932

  • We acquired this object.

2012

2013

2018

2019

Embroidery Sample (France), 1790–1800

This is a Embroidery sample. It is dated 1790–1800 and we acquired it in 1932. Its medium is silk, glass, paper and its technique is embroidered on cut and voided supplementary warp pile in a twill foundation (velvet). It is a part of the Textiles department.


These embroidery samples haven been in their original paper enclosures for over 200 years, preserving their brilliant color and pristine condition. The samples likely represent designs for men’s coats although embroidery houses could produce designs on any fabric according to a client’s wishes. While consumers in Paris could visit the marchand-merciers (retailers) to see samples in person, these paper envelopes were highly portable, meaning selling agents could take orders from customers far removed from the city center. Paris was widely recognized as the capital of fashion, and this perception was due mainly to the large volume of high-quality textiles produced in Lyon specifically for the Paris trade. By the 18th century, the textile industry in Lyon employed thousands of men and women. Local government and business leaders recognized Lyon’s special place in the textile design and production—it was the first to introduce seasonal changes in silk design. With the goal of training the next generation of textile designers, in 1756 leaders proposed opening a free school for flower painting under the leadership of a flower specialist with some knowledge of fabric design. It was not until the end of the century that the school produced its finest graduate, the talented designer Jean François Bony (French, 1754–1825), whose influence here is evident.

It is credited Museum purchase from Au Panier Fleuri Fund.

Its dimensions are

H x W: 21 x 13.4 cm (8 1/4 x 5 1/4 in.)

Cite this object as

Embroidery Sample (France), 1790–1800; Previously owned by George Saville Seligman ; silk, glass, paper; H x W: 21 x 13.4 cm (8 1/4 x 5 1/4 in.); Museum purchase from Au Panier Fleuri Fund; 1932-1-46

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Embroidered and Embellished.

This object may be subject to Copyright or other restrictions.

You are welcome to make fair use of this image under U.S. Copyright law and in compliance with our terms of use. Please note that you are responsible for determining whether your use is fair and for responding to any claims that may arise from your use.

For higher resolution or commercial use contact ArtResource.

If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18338175/ |title=Embroidery Sample (France), 1790–1800 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=11 November 2019 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>