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Calandre Sous Geneve – Paquis, Geneva Textile Manufacture (Reserved)

Vue d’une Calandre Sous Geneve  (Au Pâquis)

Copperplate Engraving from Baron Zurlauben’s topography published around 1780.  Dessine par Perignon ptre du Roi, Grave par D. Nee.

In the period Calandre referred to a machine with rolls used to iron or add a shine to fabrics or to finish paper and this was likely a factory building engaged in processing Chintz. From around 1700, Geneva became a center for the manufacture of fabrics, and especially the highly popular floral chintz fabrics, known as “les indiennes.”  Factories were located on the shores of the lake in both Eau-Vives and Pacquis.  This image shows a delivery, perhaps of cotton or dies, arriving by boat at the door of one of the factories.  Or perhaps merchants are departing with wares for sale.

The Swiss National Museum at the Chateau de Prangins documents how the chintz industry was “a jewel in the crown of the Swiss economy in the 18th century” and is home to a magnificent collection of Chintz fabrics.  Reference: Chintz – How a Fabric Conquered the World

The letters A.P.D.R. appear on the print, which means it was engraved “avec privilège du roi” – or licensed by the king – this is an annotation which one sees only on prints published before the French revolution. It indicated the print had been approved by the French censures.

Dimensions: Sheets including margins measure around 12.5 X 9.5 inches (32 X 24 cm). Image size around 8.65 x 6 inches (22 x 16 cm)

Condition: Some very light foxing of sheet

Tableaux de la Suisse

Published in different editions between 1770 and 1786

Beat Fidel Antoine Dominique Zurlauben (1720 - 1799) and Jean-Benjamin de Laborde (1734 - 1794)

With over 400 beautifully produced engravings, Baron de Zurlauben’s “Tableaux de la Suisse” is one of the most complete and beautiful books on Switzerland ever produced. The project was supported by Jean Benjamin de Laborde (1734 – 1794), a lieutenant general in the French army, and a favorite of Louis XV, and the Swiss General and military historian Baron von Zurlauben. The principal author, Zurlauben (1720 – 1799), had studied history with Jean Rollin in Paris and was a general of the “Schweizergard” (Swiss Guards) who protected French Royalty.

The full title of the work is: Tableaux De La Suisse, Ou Voyage Pittoresque Fait Dans Les Treize Cantons Et Etats Allies Du Corps Helvetique : Représentant les divers Phénomenes que la nature y rassemble, & les beautés dont l’art les enrichis; suivis de la description topographique, physique, historique, morale, politique & littéraire de ce Pays Par M. le Baron De ZurLauben.

This work is not framed, but below is a mockup showing how it might be presented in a frame and mat.

The sheet is one half of an antique folio format sheet cut by a previous owner which originally featured two engravings one above the other. This was the upper engraving.