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Textile Designs At Rodney Archer’s House

February 3, 2015
by the gentle author

Rodney Archer, the Aesthete of Fournier St, & his pal Trevor Newton, the Curator, have been busy again, lining Rodney’s magnificent old house with a collection of original French nineteenth century designs for satins and silk velours, created at the Lyons factory of Antoine Donat between 1840 and 1865.

Trevor came upon these designs in a long-abandoned silk mill and they have not seen the light of day since the eighteen-seventies which accounts for their vibrant unfaded colours. Each design is labelled on the reverse with the date and instructions for setting up the loom, and all are for sale – many for as little as twenty pounds.

It certainly makes a splendid display in Rodney’s blue and gold drawing room on the first floor – the one with Oscar Wilde’s fireplace in it – and since these houses in Fournier St were built on the income from silk weaving, it is difficult to imagine a better location to enjoy these rich and extravagant designs, glowing in the February sunlight .

31 Fournier St will be open on Tuesdays, Thursdays & Saturdays from Thursday February 19th until Thursday March 19th – from 10am until 4pm weekdays and 2pm until 5pm on Saturdays. Numbers are limited and visits are by appointment only.

To receive an invitation, please email saying when exactly you would like to visit and how many will be in your party.

You may also like to read about

Rodney Archer, Aesthete

A Walk With Rodney Archer

At 31 Fournier St

Rodney Archer’s Scraps

15 Responses leave one →
  1. February 3, 2015


  2. February 3, 2015

    What a treasure! Valerie

  3. February 3, 2015

    Fantastic rediscovery and the good dealing with it!

    Love & Peace

  4. February 3, 2015

    They really should be conservation framed with UV glass, but that would be expensive. These items are so beautiful and they look fantastic the way they are displayed. Such a wonderful piece of history!

  5. February 3, 2015

    How does one from far across the water purchase one of these lovelies?

  6. Mike Charlton permalink
    February 3, 2015

    Whenever I have seen 19th century textiles, or any textiles for that matter, in museums and stately homes, that have been bared to the elements and have therefore faded over the years, I’ve always moved on quickly to the next exhibit, with a half-hearted and scarcely-appreciative “That’s nice!” while actually thinking “How drab!” But these, with the intensity of colour that was meant by their creators, look absolutely stunning! Great pictures!

  7. Trevor Newton permalink
    February 3, 2015

    This is just to clarify that the designs we are exhibiting and selling are not textile samples, they are the original-hand painted gouache on squared-paper patterns which were turned into punched card templates for weaving into silks and satins on machine looms.

    We have had an enormous and very gratifying response to the Gentle Author’s wonderful article. Please book your visit early to avoid disappointment!

    Trevor Newton, Curator, 31 Fournier Street

  8. Francesca jobson permalink
    February 3, 2015

    Absolutely beautifull,they look so perfect hung on the wood paneling.I shall certainly pay a visit with view to a purchase.
    I enjoy your blog very much always something of interest.keep up the good work.

  9. Shawdiane permalink
    February 4, 2015

    Love it, Love it, ❤️ it. My kind of home. Thank you for sharing.

  10. February 4, 2015

    Such beautiful designs! Is it possible to purchase them via the internet for those of us unable to attend the exhibition?

  11. sylvie permalink
    February 4, 2015

    Absolutely fabulous, will try very hard to get a visit.

  12. Christine Carder permalink
    February 26, 2015

    Wow ,stunning.

  13. Elizabeth permalink
    March 9, 2015

    Such treasures in a wonderful setting.

  14. Keryn permalink
    July 21, 2015

    This exquisite collection of original textile designs so tenderly displayed has brought tears to my eyes. Oh to have been able to visit a place and people so sensitive to history and beautiful things.

  15. Gracia permalink
    December 31, 2019


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