Hand-painted embroidery design depicting a parrot, a snail, and a lizard
France: nineteenth century. Original watercolor, executed on two sheets of printed “papier quadrillé” joined together, entire piece measuring 15 x 32 inches. Publisher information printed at base of sheets: “8 en 10: à Paris, chez CHAVANT & DESSAIGNE Rue Cléry, No 19 / No. 23.” Several pale pink areas where paint spread; trace of glue along seam; later pencil notes to verso.
Large fragment of an original embroidery design, likely for a shawl or tablecloth, executed in red watercolor. The stylized parrot, snail, and lizard are meticulously plotted out by hand, stitch by stitch, against a background of oak leaves and acorns. This design is plotted on “papier quadrillé” manufactured by the Paris publisher Chavant & Dessaigne. Fleury Chavant was an industrial designer who issued a number of influential pattern books in the 1830s and 1840s. In addition to finished patterns, his company offered a range of these printed grid papers, with gauges corresponding to every kind of needlework, enabling those at home to produce their own designs. A striking survival.