Thursday, December 27, 2012

A French "Bergere" Settee

 Our latest joint project with upholstery colleague, Ellie Blachly, was this wonderful settee owned by my client, James Fichter.  He purchased the settee on Ebay and believed that it may have been French Canadian in origin. We all fell in love with it's simple style and wonderful hand carved arms and legs.  After much discussion, we convinced James to use some of our embossed harateen in a tomato red with a gold and red
handwoven trim to match. What happened next as Ellie proceeded to undress the settee, was incredibly exciting...almost like an archeological dig.  As the different layers came off it became evident that the settee
was older then everyone thought ....18th c.....and that it was definitely French.  The sprung seat was a later addition and the current upholstery was also hiding some wonderful bits of hand carving on the lower front. Ellie consulted with a colleague in England and a wellknown upholsterer here in the States and between the three of them a plan evolved to restore the settee to it's original design.   Here she is!

The Settee before undressing with Eaton Hill's embossed fabric and handwoven trim.
The settee undressed revealing the springs that were added at a later date....soon to be removed.

Beautiful handwoven linen fabric underneath the equally beautiful handwoven webbing.

A much coarser linen with wads of tow linen layered on top.

The carved  arms and legs of walnut.

A piece of the original yellow silk underneath a tack.

Some version of french hay used as a stuffing on top of a layer of cow hair.

Underneath the hay and cow hair was this sweet wall paper.

The layers of stuffing...tow linen, marsh grass/hay, cow hair and wallpaper.
Ellie sewing on the trim.

The underside with handwoven webbing and trim.

Detail of the side arm.

The finished settee!

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