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'Coffetuch', tablecloth

Key data

Silesia, ca. 1760/70

Silk damask in two colours

height 110.5 cm, width 89 cm

Inv. 1968.163.


The term damask evokes the idea of white table linen with a delicate white design. The design is produced by varying the method of the weaving so that the smooth ground contrasts with the textured surfaces. This technique was employed in Europe from the C15 for linen damask in a wide variety of designs. In western Europe two coloured designs using dyed weft threads were produced only in Silesia and Saxony where the production of damask had flourished increasingly from the second half of the C17. In these regions two coloured damask, of either half silk or pure silk with a coloured weft, was produced in the same style and technique as white linen damask. The gallant or allegorical subject matter of the pictorial pieces is sometimes comparable to motifs used in engraved glass from the same area. Vivid hunting scenes run around the borders of the 'Coffetuch' and the center contains a scene of two elegant couples dining at a sumptuously laid table beneath a canopy, while two dogs wait for scraps and two hunters blow their horns.

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