Thursday, October 15, 2015

Courtly Carpeting in the Schuyler Home

by Rebecca Kurtz
Detail of the Brussels carpeting in the Yellow Parlor

Last week, you were introduced to the Yellow Parlor, a room at Schuyler Mansion that epitomizes just how English the Schuylers considered themselves to be. We previously discussed the history surrounding the sophisticated flocked wallpaper that bedecks the walls of the yellow parlor. This week, however, we will focus on the Brussels carpeting that covers the parlor’s floor.

During the eighteenth century, the wealthiest in the colonies imported Oriental rugs from Asia known as Turkish carpets. However, English carpets were popular as well and, since they were not nearly as expensive as their Asian counterparts, they were more common in the colonies. Philip Schuyler chose Brussels carpets over the other English styles at the time, which were Ingrain, Wilton, and Axminster.
Brussels Carpeting
The Brussels carpet, a loop-pile, wool carpet with a linen warp that contained five colors, was originally created in Brussels circa 1710. England began producing them around 1740, and continued until the 1930’s. Many carpets during the eighteenth century were purchased in long, narrow strips that needed to be sized and sewn together. The same is true of the reproduction that is displayed in the yellow parlor today.

The reproduction Brussels carpets that are in Schuyler Mansion today (in Philip and Catherine’s bedchamber as well as the yellow parlor) were constructed by John Burrows, the founder of J.R. Burrows & Company, which produces period floor coverings.

So, come to Schuyler Mansion for a tour, and when you are in the yellow parlor and Philip and Catherine’s bedchamber, take a moment to appreciate the beautiful Brussels carpeting. There are just three weeks left of our 2015 season- so hurry! If you want to take a look at some of John Burrow’s work during the off-season, some can be found in the American Wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

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