Sunday, June 24, 2012

Beautiful Vintage Fortuny Fabric Lampshades in Arezzo, Italy

The medieval city of Arezzo, Italy is filled with antique shops overflowing with Italian and French antiques. One store that caught my eye specializes in antique lamp bases and shades. Many of the shades are made of either vintage or new FORTUNY fabrics. Fortuny fabric is traditionally a cotton fabric with a soft metallic design hand printed on the fabric in either silver or gold. These beautifully formal fabrics were first introduced by artist Mariano Fortuny in 1907 in Venice Italy.

It was in Venice that Fortuny's production of textiles was seen as the "culmination of his knowledge of colors, mechanics and art into one manifestation of pure artistic genius" (as per Today, Fortuny fabrics are still being produced in the same machinery, using the same secret process and techniques developed by Mariano Fortuny a century ago.

Although Fortuny fabrics are still being produced and new patterns introduced, vintage Fortuny fabrics are especially desirable. I found two very small lampshades made of vintage Fortuny fabric (in this shop in Arezzo) that I adored but each small shade was $300 Euros! They were gorgeous though! 

Yesterday I began searching for examples of vintage Fortuny fabrics and found the beautiful pillow below.

I also found this beautiful room by designer Christopher Maya. Maya designed the sofas and had throw pillows made from antique Fortuny fabric. (This fabric is very similar to the pillow above!)

(Photo courtesy of House Beautiful Magazine.)

In the photograph below, the living room of Dallas, Texas designer Shannon Bowers features a painted Gustavian sofa with accent pillows in vintage Fortuny fabric. I have kept this 2010 issue of Veranda Magazine just so that I can look at Shannon's beautiful home from time to time. Her use of painted furniture, neutral colors, blue and white accents, natural linen and Fortuny fabrics are peaceful, fresh and appealing.

(Photo courtesy of Veranda Magazine)

In another area of Shannon Bower's home, a pair of 19th century fauteuil chairs are upholstered in vintage Fortuny fabric.

(Photo courtesy of Veranda Magazine)

If you feel inspired by these photos and would like to incorporate a Fortuny fabric pillow or two into your home, there are numerous on-line antique stores carrying beautiful Fortuny pillows. Get your checkbook and your piggy bank ready though - they are quite precious!

Au revoir, Mitty

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