NewswireToday - /newswire/ -
Portsmouth, RI, United States, 2006/04/13 - Scalamandre, the important American textile giant, for the first time ever, will auction selections from their archives, including rare historical fabrics and artifacts - first auction April 19.
Scalamandre, the much-loved American manufacturer whose name is recognized the world over as a premiere source for luxury fabrics and wall coverings, is unfolding a new chapter in its 50-year history. For the first time ever, the company will offer for auction selections from its extensive archives of custom designed silk, inspirational art work, historical fabrics from America's most famous restoration projects, and a wide variety of important artifacts from the Scalamandre offices and the Scalamandre Textile Museum that during the 1950s and 60s was located on Fifth Avenue in New York City and became an important destination for designers, decorations, and fabric scholars.
The first of three scheduled Scalamandre online auctions will open for bidding on April 19, 2006, and will close Tuesday, April 27. Museums, collectors, restoration professionals, antiques dealers, and fabric aficionados can peruse an online preview right now by visiting LLDSpecialtySales.com. Two additional auctions are scheduled this Summer and early Fall, with hundreds artifacts and archival fabrics carefully chosen as representative of Scalamandre's weaving history, custom commissions, and restoration work for homes and buildings with profound historical provenance. Altogether, these on line auctions of never-before-made-public material offer a grand opportunity to own a part of an American company that continues to an 80 year reputation for ingenuity, authenticity, and artistic excellence.
Highlights for the April Auction include several White House fabric lots including three shuttle loom, silk lampas panels that are the original working samples for chairs in the Blue Room, and were designed by Mrs. Scalamandre for Jackie Kennedy's restoration initiative that later became a landmark television special. These panels feature golden eagles, wreathes, and rosettes on a French blue ground and include certain design quirks that did not make the production run. Other White House fabric includes eight yards of lemon yellow Georgian silk damask woven in the 1970s for the draperies now hanging in the East Room, and almost five yards of a four field silk lampas first reproduced in the 1940s and woven again in the 1970s for the window treatment in the Nixon's private dining room. Bidders can even compete for two historic "White House" looms that were set up specifically to produce numerous customized fabric project requested by just about every administration during the last half of the 20th Century.
Other important fabric includes more than six yards of hand brocaded Italian silk, woven with metallic threads in early 18th Century style, and selected by Princess Marie Jose, the last Queen of Italy, for the Royal Summer Palace. When last offered for sale the wholesale price was $2500 per yard. Serious Americana collectors can compete for more than 10 yards of a wine colored silk Damask woven for chairs and draperies at Mount Vernon and also displayed at the Scalamandre Museum of Textiles. And for collectors of modern textiles and design there is an important framed panel of the last approved loom trial of the wall covering woven for the World Financial Center, destroyed on 9/11. This brocatelle was designed by Adrianna Bitter and Cezar Pelli with inspiration from Owen Jones and Christopher Dresser.
The Scalamandre online auctions are presented by LLD Specialty Sales of Portsmouth, Rhode Island, the firm that handled Scalamandre's record setting on-site artifact sales when the company moved its weaving operations from their historic red-brick Brooklyn factory to a new mill in South Carolina. All the auction items are authenticated and vetted by Bob Bitter, President of Scalamandre, and every lot is guaranteed as described.
"The Scalamandre auctions are very timely," notes LLD founders Jill and Web Wilson. "With more manufacturing outsourced in Asia, Mexico and India, there is a real thirst for American made products and Scalamandre represents the highest level of American industrial production. Many people are restoring historic homes or searching for antiques and decorative products that representative American art and craftsmanship."
"LLD is a founding member of AntiquesYes.com," Web Wilson continued, "so we have helped develop an online auction site with proprietary software and special features for serious auction buyers. We have listed reserves, bidder anonymity, and realistic bid increments. A buyer's premium of 15% is in effect and the new software provides for extended bid time that eliminates sniping."
Along with archival fabrics, the April Scalamandre auction will also offer artwork and artifacts from the Scalamandre Home Office and the Scalamandre Museum of Textiles. One important furniture lot is a 19th Century European side chair, with gilded finials and upholstered in tapestry, that was given to Franco Scalamandre by William Randolph Hearst in payment for work done at his San Simeon estate. Another lot offers an 18th C. silk winding machine constructed from cast iron and carved and gilded wood, bought by Franco Scalamandre for the Textile Museum. Artwork includes painting and drawings used for design inspiration such as two paintings by Victor Portelet, an important 19th Century Indus trial artist who became Director of the Louvre in Paris. Of special note are several lots of point papers, the thread-by-thread diagrams required for every fabric design, some of which were hand-drawn by Franco Scalamandre and his daughter, Adrianna.