Coutts - Raw Silk
Dimensions: de Gournay wallpapers are produced as panels in any height up to 4.3m. Total panel length is 0.60 more than the chosen design height when ordering via the straight run method and 0.30m more than your wall height when ordering via the tailored method. These wallpapers are 0.915m wide after trimming except where marked. Customisation of design elements, colourways and panel heights are fully available though subject to additional charge.
Details: de Gournay’s Coutts design depicts scenes of everyday life in the 18th century Imperial China. The detailed and faithful portrayals make it the equivalent of a period documentary film and nowadays we can barely imagine the excitement Western eyes would have felt when seeing these scenes for the first time; shopkeepers keep accounts using abacuses; labourers collect birds’ nests as ingredients for making soup; women frequent a tea house-cum-brothel; bare footed servants wait on their masters while horses, dogs and children hang about; tea is picked, dried, packed and sold and the stages of silk production from the gathering of cocoons off mulberry trees through spinning and weaving cloth are illustrated.
The design is named for one of the sources de Gournay used as inspiration for the pattern, the fabulous paper lining the boardrooms of Coutts Bank in London’s The Strand. This paper was a present to the bank’s director, Thomas Coutts, from one of his customers, Lord Macartney of Lissamore, shortly after his return to England in 1794 after a two-year expedition to China. George Macartney had been First Envoy in this famous British mission to China on behalf of King George III whose purpose had been to convince the Emperor Qianlong to grant various easings of the existing trade restrictions. Whilst the mission was ultimately unsuccessful in this, Macartney returned with a detailed knowledge of China and the story goes that he first saw paper used on the walls of a palace where he and his entourage had stayed in Peking.
de Gournay’s pattern also incorporates details from the similar paper used at Harewood House in the Chintz Dressing Room as part of Thomas Chippendale’s 1767-1778 redecoration scheme for Edwin Lascelles and that in the Chinese Bedroom at Saltram House in Devon.
Installation 1: Photography by Dan Marshall
Installation 2: Interior by Henrietta Spencer-Churchill of Woodstock Designs
Installation 3: Interior design by Artistic Design