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Jan Weenix, Flowers on a Fountain with a Peacock, 1700 - 1710, © Wallace Collection, London
This extravagant, indulgent scene with its rich, intense colours and textures reflects the wealth and aspirations of the Dutch Golden Age. Weenix’s paintings are renowned for their subjects that often feature dead game and scenes of the hunt. In this scene, the wonders of architecture and the abundance of nature are celebrated. The dramatic style of the painting reflects the demand for large still life and landscape paintings that were popular at the turn of the eighteenth century. The painting is one of thirteen by Weenix that can be found at the Wallace Collection; the theatrical use of lighting and highly decorative style makes it a beautiful accessory.
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The information on the early life of Jan Weenix is hard to verify, but it is thought he was born in Amsterdam sometime between 1640 and 1649. He grew up in a castle outside Utrecht, and by the age of twenty rivalled and then subsequently surpassed his father, also a painter, in breadth of treatment and richness of colour.
In Amsterdam, Weenix was frequently employed to decorate private houses with wall-paintings on canvas. One was near the Admiralty of Amsterdam. The mansion, on a canal with many rich Sefardim, was owned by a Spanish merchant, involved in sugar plantations in South America. The five fixed paintings or wallpaper on canvas became very popular in the second half of the 18th century, when nature and Rousseau were fashionable and copied.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was so impressed by the treatment of animals in Weenix pictures which he saw in Munich he devoted a poem to the master's technique in which he stated that Weenix equalled and even surpassed nature in his treatment of animal textures as hair, feathers and claws. Today, many of his best works are to be found in English private collections, however, the Wallace Collection in London, has thirteen paintings, including the intriguing "Flowers on a Fountain with a Peacock.” from which we have created this scarf.
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 silk scarves 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 silk scarves 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 scarf 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 scarf.
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