Designed by Robert Jones; Manufactured at Old Ford
Linen and cotton; 81 1/8 x 39 in. (206.1 x 99.1 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1983 (1983.365)
The pastimes of the privileged classes, popular themes in English prints and paintings of the eighteenth century, are also the subject of this furnishing fabric. The technique of colorfast copperplate printing, invented in 1752 by Francis Nixon of Drumcondra, Ireland, made the reproduction of such large, complicated, and detailed compositions possible, but only in one color. To create this technical tour de force, Robert Jones combined both innovative and traditional methods. Two different copperplates, one for each subject, were used first to record in an aubergine color the scenes of fashionable gentry engaged in hunting and fishing. Additional colors were then painstakingly added, one by one, using woodblocks, a procedure requiring great skill to ensure that all the impressions were correctly registered. As a final touch, blue was added by penciling. Obviously proud of the accomplishment, Jones discreetly worked into the compositions in several places the name of his firm, its location, and the date January 1, 1769.