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Peter Paul Rubens 1577 – 1640, Achilles Slays Hector, c.1630/35
This bold pocket square displays the famous story of Achilles defeating Hector. Achilles, desperate to revenge his best friend Patrocles, receives weapons from the fire god Vulcan, and subsequently throws himself into battle with Hector.
With the help of the goddess Minerva, he manages to beat him, as can be seen in this beautiful painting by Rubens, the sixth in a series of eight, in which he illustrated the life of Achilles. On the left and right are statues of Hercules and Mars. Hercules was the first to plunder Troy and Mars was the protector of Troy, but is seen here to turn his face from it.
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Peter Paul Rubens (1577 - 1640) was a remarkable character, not only being a successful painter of European renown but he also played an important diplomatic role in 17th century European politics. In his painting he was a proponent of an extravagant Baroque style that emphasised movement, colour and sensuality and is well known for his Counter-Reformation altarpieces, portraits, landscapes and paintings of mythological subjects.
As a famous painter he was often commissioned by European royalty and when a 12 year truce between the Dutch and the Spanish broke down in 1621 Rubens was called to the courts of England and France as they decided who to ally themselves with. As painters had reason to travel to foreign courts, he was well placed to carry out secret negotiations without his presence arising suspicion. For his efforts the Archduchess Isabella made him ‘gentleman of the household’ in 1627. He then returned to being a prolific painter, producing over 80 paintings in the 1630's for King Phillip of Spain alone. See more information about the artist on his Wikipedia page Peter Paul Rubens.
Macclesfield was once the centre of the English silk weaving industry and the world's biggest producer of finished silk. The area has been printing silk for over 300 years and at one point had over seventy mills operating in the town. The town is close to a water supply that passes through limestone, and when used in washing and dyeing it gives silk a uniquely attractive lustre.
Our pocket squares are printed at a mill that has been producing printed fabric on the same site for the past fifty years and the process uses water sourced from its own reservoir.
The art of hand rolling pocket squares is a unique craft and truly makes each piece individual and unique. We feel that the precision and care taken by our skilled artisans gives each scarf its own unique character, finish and feel. To create the finest rolled hems, the edge of the silk or cotton pocket square must be softy turned over with a handheld needle and then small stitches are inserted approximately one half to one centimetre apart around the edge, creating a supple yet prominent border.
It’s absolutely the best way to finish a pocket square for a variety of reasons but the key ones are for both visual effect and structure. Rolling by hand is the only way to get a really nice clean plump finish on the edge and this gives a really nice depth to the edges. It’s a more expensive process than machine rolling but by using a machine you’re often left with a flat edge and you don’t get the same luxurious feel. On top of this, the rolled edges add a lot more structure to your pocket square.
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Peter Paul Rubens 1577 – 1640, Achilles Slays Hector, c.1630/35 100% Silk Hand Rolled Designed and Printed in Britain 42cm x 42cm This bold pocket square displays the famous story...
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