THE HISTORY OF A LINEN TABLECLOTH – DATED 1789 (F 3)

T E X T I L I S

[My Chamber of Textile Thoughts. No: XLII | By Viveka Hansen]

To own a substantial number of unbleached or white linen tablecloths in a Swedish nobility home, was a tradition with its roots in Medieval times. This group of interior textiles also represented an important part of the family linen storage and as a valuable heirloom – a practice continuing for several hundreds of years. My aim with this text is to describe a well preserved six metre long linen tablecloth dated “1789”, where the original owners belonged to families of barons and counts. Unfortunately there are no clues to by who or where this tablecloth once was woven, but possibly at one of the leading linen weaving manufacturers in Sweden as Flor, Vadstena or in one of the early factories for such goods in Stockholm.  

One of the corners is added with ‘CCB 1789’ in small cross stitches using grey-blue linen thread, the letters refer to Charlotta Catharina Bielke (1765-1793). She married the year before the dating of this tablecloth – 29 January in 1788 – with Louis de Geer af Leufsta (1759-1830). (Private ownership) Photo: The IK Foundation, London. One of the corners is added with ‘CCB 1789’ in small cross…

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