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Document Details :
Title: Quelques exemples de restaurations de décors textiles dans l'œuvre de Victor Horta
Subtitle: Le salon de l'hôtel Van Eetvelde et les salons et la cage d'escalier du Musée Horta
Author(s): AUBRY, Françoise
Journal: Tijdschrift voor Interieurgeschiedenis en Design
Volume: 37 Date: 2010-2011
The architect in charge of the restoration of the lounge of the Hôtel Van Eetvelde in 2005, Barbara Van der Wee, has asked me to research the lost textile wall-coverings that we know from a photograph published in an article on Victor Horta in the early 20th century. A catalogue of a Liberty exhibition held at the V&A Museum in London in 1975 made it possible for the cloth to be identified. One fragment had been conserved in the Nordenfjeldske Kunstindustrimuseum in Trondheim. The Conservator kindly allowed this piece of cloth to be taken to Lyon where it was reproduced by the manufacturer Prelle and then installed in the salon in 2010.
In the Musée Horta the textile wall-coverings on the first floor and in the salon could be reproduced thanks to two lucky coincidences: a piece of Victor Horta furniture bought in a public auction was found to contain pieces of cloth from the salons on the first floor, while a fragment of the original cloth hanging from the family drawing-room had been miraculously been preserved behind a mirror. The first was reproduced by Tassinari and Châtel (2001), and the second by Prelle (2006).
Two of these three examples show how much the restoration of an interior design may depend on a miracle. The reproduction and installation of the original textile wall-coverings have together significantly increased the evocative power of the old atmosphere of the two town houses created by Horta.