Collection of Aubusson Rugs and Antique Carpets From France
Aubusson Rugs – Aubusson is a town on the Creuse River in central France. It has been famed for its carpets as well as Tapestries since the 15th century. Antique Aubusson rugs made in tapestry technique are among the most elegant and luxurious antique floor coverings. The true date when the production of flat woven tapestry Aubusson carpets in France began is not known. With that said, examples of Aubusson carpets with Rococo designs have led most of us in the field to speculate that it probably began in during the mid 18th century when the taste for Oriental rugs started to shift in favor of European design. We do know that Louis the XV, Louis the XVI and Napoleon the I had all ordered flat woven Aubusson carpets (the latter two ordering far more than the former).
A 1786 inventory lists more than one hundred Aubusson carpets at the palace of Versailles and a 1789 inventory of all royal palaces describes a great many more. The fact that Aubusson carpets were easier to manufacture is the leading reason why so many rugs from this manufacturer were ordered by the aristocracy for their castles and chateaux enabling them to custom make rugs for unusually large spaces in a fraction of the time it would take to weave in pile (all the time maintaining the beauty, grace, elegance and aesthetic appeal which was demanded by the ruling class at the time). With their grand designs of frames and cartouches hung with garlands, they have a clear, Neo-classical almost architectural monumentality and soft coloration reminiscent of Greco-Roman decorative arts. These qualities still establish Aubusson rugs as one of the more effective alternatives in traditional interior decor.
Antique Aubusson Rugs – Rich in history and armed with a timeless appeal, Aubusson carpets been sought after by the leading interior designers as well as consumers for decades. As a side note, the fact that these rugs were commissioned for and by the aristocracy explains why they are far more abundant in larger sizes, more so than any other type of rug. To elaborate, Aubussons are rarely found in smaller “scatter” sizes, the ruling class always desired to convey an impression of grandness, so rather than splitting up the room with a number of smaller pieces, they opted to fill the entire room, to be viewed not only as a decorative floor covering, but rather as a grand and graceful work of art to be admired by all who enter.
The aristocratic style of Aubusson rugs is like no other in France, Europe or the greater carpet-producing world. Like the most successful carpet production systems, France’s great looms were established to serve the country’s aristocratic leaders. Based on royal trends, designers painstakingly fashioned elegant flat-weave tapestry carpets that rivaled the opulent architectural style of Versailles. Using scrolling acanthus leaves and lush cabbage rose bouquets, skillful designers in Aubusson crafted elegant French carpets that perfectly complemented the baroque style of the time. The romantic pastel colors, architectural designs and floriferous style of Aubusson rugs are still appreciated by today’s top designers and celebrities. The general admiration for the lavish neoclassical style of Aubusson rugs has been continued by Coco Chanel, Tory Burch and the Kennedys.