Thursday, April 17, 2014


I have been very fortunate--over the past 6 weeks I have sold 6 pairs of pillows; 4 pairs of vintage Fortuny and both the Le Tigre and Il Leopardo Scalamandre silk velvet pillows.........which meant that I needed to put my pillow creativity hat on. This is one of my most favorite chores--choosing the silk and velvet backings for the antique and vintage Fortuny textiles. I usually have a pretty good stash of silks on hand. I've found that my creative brain works best if I have fabrics that inspire me at hand. Sometimes what I have works; sometimes it helps me decided what doesn't work. For this new batch of pillows, I had everything that I needed.

This is the very desirable 15" wide border of untouched 1920's antique Fortuny fragment that I purchased in December. I acquired this from an American artist, who lives and works in Venice, who had acquired it many years ago from a close friend of Henriette, the wife of Mariano Fortuny. It is just enough to make two generous pillows. I'm backing these pillows in a very high-end brown/black silk faille. I love the scrolling vine and iconic "r" pattern border of this fragment. The mottled deep blue tinged with green has great depth and you can see where the various wood blocks were applied to the fabric with greater or lesser pressure. Unfortunately, these guys will be pretty pricey to cover the cost of the Fortuny fragment.
Next up, I ordered another pair of pillows like this pair

in "Farnese Frieze" that is dated 1961. I am so lucky to have been able to obtain this Fortuny textile in mint unused condition.
Next I ordered a pair of pillows from this c. 1930's antique Fortuny fragment.

This is an early example of the "Peruano" pattern. It bears the old Fortuny stamp and was created with fabric woven on a 28" loom, which also is an indication of the age of the Fortuny textile. Fortuny fabrics created during the lifetime of Mariano Fortuny (1871-1949) are more highly valued than identical fabrics created after his death, when Henriette managed the business. I am not generally a "green" lover--but I do like this green--and amazingly, I had just the right shade of green silk to back two of the three pillows that are to be made with this antique fragment. These will be rather long pillows measuring approximately 26" x 15" so as to not waste any of the textile--perfect for a bed or backing a sofa.
I next ordered a pair of pillows created with this example of c. 1960's "Campanelle". This fragment is also unused and in almost mint condition.

I had just the right tone of silvery-gold silk to back these pillows which will measure approx. 20" x 26". 
And finally I ordered a pair with this mint "Lamballe" pattern Fortuny that is dated 1958........this is a fun pattern and rather unique with the ticking-style stripe.


The repeat on this design is a full 45" in length--very large. I'll be breaking one repeat up into 3 sets of pillows--this first set will use the bottom third which features the squirrel in the pattern. The pillows will measure about 15" x 24". And I'm backing them in a striped charcoal cut velvet....different and a bit funky.
Now, I just have to patiently wait for Pam to create my pillows--and she's very busy, hope it won't be too long.

I can't believe that Easter Sunday is almost here......and it will be a gorgeous spring day.
Wishing you the best this Easter,
Mary & Jones & Cole


  1. Mary I am thrilled that your Fortuny pillows are doing so of these days I shall have one or two! I always love to see the interesting variances in style and pattern!

    I do have some news and will email you later. I am going to Crown Center downtown (Hallmark Cards Headquarters) where Isabella will be performing with her chorale group.

    Feature: Decorate Fearlessly

    1. Hi Karena, Have a wonderful day with Isabella.
      Awaiting email!!
      xoxox Mary