Rex Whistler (1905–1944)

Rex Whistler (1905–1944) "Clovelly" Toile-De-Jouy Printed-Cotton Panel

Code: 11076


H: 88cm (34.6")W: 82.5cm (32.5")


Reginald John "Rex" Whistler (1905–1944)
"Clovelly" Pattern, Toile-De-Jouy Panel
Copper plate printing in red on cotton
Produced by W.H. Haynes Ltd
London, Circa 1933

88 cm x 82.5 cm (approx.) (34.6" x 32.5" inches)
(Being the full pattern without repeat)

D.S. Mann & Ronald Fleming Ltd (Ronald Fleming (1896-1968) - label stapled to the fabric, annotated verso in manuscript "Designed by Rex Whistler".

Five views of the Devon coastal village Clovelly arranged as a 'quincunx'. A title device with the word 'Clovelly' within a rococo style cartouche above a mermaid and spouting dolphin. Various floral, marine and seaside vignettes etc.

Rex Whistler made the original design for this material in 1932 for Angela Hore-Ruthven (1889-1970), a maternal niece of Christine Louisa Hamlyn-Fane (1855-1936), the feudal owner of Clovelly (who was known to Rex as "Aunt Christine"). The fabric was in production by 1933 and there were four colourways: jouy red (as here); cornflower blue; green and black. The copper roller which was used to print the original fabric was melted down for munitions during WWII with the result that only a very limited amount of the original fabric was produced. The design was resurrected in the late 1980's. However, the clarity of the print here, along with the label for the distinguished London interior design and antique dealing firm 'D.S. Mann & Ronald Fleming Ltd', indicate that this swatch certainly dates to the fabric's original production era.

For an almost identically sized, though slightly stained, swatch of Rex Whistler's 'Clovelly' toile-de-jouy in the blue colourway, probably dating to the early era of production, see Lot 108, Christie's, London, 10th April 2019 "Interiors: Including Noble & Private Collections" (Live Auction 16804) (realised GB£ 1,000).

Item 359, pp.53-54, Laurence Whistler and Ronald Fuller, "The Work of Rex Whistler", London, Batsford,1960

pp.97-99 (illustrated in the green colourway p.98), Hugh & Mirabel Cecil, "In Search of Rex Whistler: His Life & Work", London, Frances Lincoln Limited, 2012