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Raphael 1483-1520, The Battle of Ostia, 1514.
This pocket square features The Battle of Ostia (Battaglia di Ostia), a painting by the workshop of the Italian renaissance artist Raphael. The painting was part of his commission to decorate the rooms now known as the Stanze di Raffaello, in the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican. It can be found in the room that was named after The Fire in the Borgo, the Stanza dell'incendio del Borgo, and was inspired by a naval battle fought in 849 between the Saracens and a Christian League of Papal, Neapolitan and Gaetan ships.
In the painting Pope Leo IV, with the features of Pope Leo X, can be seen giving thanks after the opposing ships were destroyed by a storm. Details in the border of the pocket square are taken from a fresco by Raphael; The Expulsion of Heliodorus from the Temple.
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Raphael was an Italian painter and architect of the High Renaissance. His work is admired for its clarity of form, ease of composition, and visual achievement of the Neoplatonic ideal of human grandeur. Together with Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, he forms the traditional trinity of great masters of that period.
He was enormously productive, running an unusually large workshop and, despite his death at 37, leaving a considerable body of work. Many of his works can be found in the Vatican Palace, where the frescoed Raphael Rooms were the central, and the largest, work of his career. The best known work is The School of Athens in the Vatican Stanza della Segnatura. After his early years in Rome much of his work was executed by his workshop from his drawings, which unfortunately resulted in a considerable loss of quality. He was extremely influential in his lifetime, though outside Rome his work was mostly known from his collaborative printmaking.
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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