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Textile

Designer
Anna Maria Garthwaite, English, 1688–1763
Maker
woven by John Sabatier, English, 1712-13–1780
Date
1752
Material
Silk
Made in
London, Greater London, England, Europe
Classification
Textiles
Current Location
Not on view
Dimensions
19 × 35 in. (48.3 × 88.9 cm)
Credit Line
Marjorie Wyman Endowment Fund
Rights
Public Domain
Object Number
116:2016
NOTES
Large hibiscus-like blossoms with furling leaves and a shimmery chevron ground lend this damask (a figured, reversible fabric) an uncommon air. Designed by Anna Maria Garthwaite in October of 1752, it shows her expertise in faithfully representing non-native, newly introduced flowers. Garthwaite was one of the most prolific and successful designers in Spitalfields, England’s silk weaving center in east London. While few details are known about Garthwaite’s personal life, scholars believe she was part of a circle of influential naturalists. This group included the botanical illustrator Georg Dionysius Ehret (1708–1770) and the merchant and plant collector Peter Collinson (1694–1768). Though botanical illustrations are known to have inspired some of Garthwaite’s designs, it is also likely she visited gardens and “greenhouses, stowed and crowded with vast varieties of exotic plants of surprising oddness and beauty.”
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