Thursday, June 11, 2009

Fortuny Upholstery Project

Anyone with some knowledge of antique fabrics would agree that coming across vintage Fortuny fabric of any kind is an exciting event. Mariano Fortuny (1871-1949) was a Spanish artist that truly embodied the idea of "Renaissance" artist, which culminated in the design and production of some of the most gorgeous fabrics. Fortuny etched, painted, sculpted, photographed and designed.

We knew from photos basically what various Fortuny patterns looked like, but none of them were ever marked with a name so we were never sure. One year, however, we purchased a set of six very large drapery panels from a reputable dealer who confirmed that they were indeed Fortuny. At the time it was an incredible find, and we had every intention to resell the panels as a full set, since it seemed to us to be a crime to break them up. As it turned out, the client that purchased the set actually brought them back a month later and asked us to use the fabric to RECOVER an overstuffed set of furniture including a sofa, armchair & ottoman. The thought of cutting into the fabric pained me, but this is what the client was paying us to do (and as it turned out I still have lots of smaller pieces and scraps!). Below is a pic of the armchair "in progress," unfortunately I have not found the photos of the sofa yet. As shown in the photo above, I made piping from the same fabric as well for all the pieces, which along with the constant pinning unpinning and repinning made for a length project, one which also resulted in a gorgeous custom upholstered set of furniture.

Recently I came across a site that sold pillows made with very expensive antique fabrics and trims, and to my surprise I noticed that they catalogued and had photos of all the Fortuny fabric patterns. I was thrilled to see the design of the panels that we sold several years back, and discovered that this particular pattern is called Pergolesi, and that the colorway of the panels we sold has been out of production since the 1940s.

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