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Textiles & Linens > Dining & Kitchen > Page 4

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Material:  Irish Linen
Color:  White
Manufacturer:  John Shaw Brown & Sons Weavers, Ireland
Millmark:  Clover /  Shamrock @ corners
Age:  1870 - 1900, 19th century
Monogram:  Yes ~ MF
Size:  Napkins ~ 27 inches x 26.5 inches
         Monogram ~ apx. 2 & ½ inches x 1 & ½ inches
Quantity:  1 set of 10  (+ one free extra napkin, for a total of 11)

An extremely nice set of ten matching antique Victorian era oversize white Irish damask linen napkins.

At approximately 27 inches square they are extremely generous large dinner, or banquet size napkins, often referred to as Lapkins.

These high quality, very finely woven medium weight double damask linen napkins were made by John Shaw Brown and Sons Weavers;  established 1866 in Edenderry, near Lisburn in the Ulster area of Northern Ireland, a locality internationally recognized for producing some of the finest linens in the world.  Brown and Son’s Weavers in particular were well known for exceptional linens and the corner shamrock or clover mill mark found on these napkins (see image #8 above) was reserved for only their highest quality textiles, which records show were favored by kings, queens, heads of state, presidents, rulers, sheiks and the highest echelon of society.  **Please see additional historical info about the company below.

The napkins feature a unusual pattern;  an opulent wide floral and scroll outer band surrounds four Greek Key vignettes, which accent an impressive large rose garland cartouche.  Highlighted center field, in the French manner, is a beautiful script monogram.  The pattern was somewhat difficult to capture digitally, but in person the unique design and subtle sheen of the linen easily catches and reflects light, as only truly luxurious woven damask can.

The very fine white linen is exceptionally smooth, silky and soft to the touch, with wonderful body and drape. The large script monograms were beautifully hand executed in a very fancy padded satin stitch, with lots of detail, flourishes and curlicues.  They are finely finished with two very narrow, flat, turned under side hems that appear to be hand done and two very finely woven natural selvedge edges.

This set of clean, pressed antique white double damask linen lapkins are in exceptionably nice antique estate condition.   Close examination of each individual napkin in bright direct sun light, revealed only a single tiny, apx. 1/4 inch size light yellowish mark near an edge of one napkin, that would likely resolve with a treatment.
We will also include an extra complimentary matching napkin, bringing the total to eleven, however this napkin has a tiny fault; a minuscule pinhole, also near an edge that feels slightly firm, like someone (not us) put a drop of clear liquid fray stop, or something similar, on it;  may remove with soak/wash.
No thin spots or other signs of heavy use noted.  After almost 150 years the napkins remain amazingly sturdy, sound and visually and tactually quite beautifully.

These high quality, exceptionally well made antique 19th century over size lapkins are a rare find in such good condition and by such a noteworthy maker.  They would certainly make an important addition to a discriminating textile collection.

** Historical Information:  
John Shaw Brown acquired the flour mill (which had previously been a bleachworks since the late 1700s) at Edenderry, converting the existing premises to a weaving factory and erecting another large weaving shed. The factory, known as the St. Ellen Works after his wife, developed from 1866 onwards into a successful linen weaving enterprise, trading under the name of John Shaw Brown and Sons.

As noted in the book “Souls: A Portrait of Belfast”  by Jo Fredell Higgins, 2012.
“The John Shaw Brown and Sons manufacturing facilities are located in Edenderry on the River Lagan, which provides power and transportation for the 185 year old mill.  The mill produces the famous “Shamrock” trademarked damask linens;  exquisite linens for presidents including Dwight D. Eisenhower, queens and monarchs including the British Royal family, rulers such as the Ruler of Oman, grand hotels including the Savoy, Windsor, St. James and the Grand Pacific, noteworthy rail lines like the Santa Fe Railway, plus discriminating customers in more than 130 countries of the world.
The mill has received numerous medals for superior merit, including a Gold Medal in Paris, 1867 and another Gold Medal was awarded in Philadelphia, 1876.”                   Linens, Textiles

Set Ten Large Very High Quality Pure Irish Linen Double Damask Dinner Banquet Napkins Lapkins ~ Millmark John Shaw Brown & Sons Weavers, c. 1800s, 19th Century

$ 269.00

Large Set Of Antique French Linen HUGE Napkins Lapkins ~ 31 X 31

Large Set Of Antique French Linen HUGE Napkins Lapkins ~ 31 X 31

Huge Set 16 Antique Damask Linen Napkins LAPKINS ~ 28 x 27.5 inches

Huge Set 16 Antique Damask Linen Napkins LAPKINS ~ 28 x 27.5 inches

Divine Large Antique French Linen Tablecloth & 12 Huge Banquet Napkins, Lapkins, Serviettes, Matching Red Monogram, Grape, Leaves & Vine Motif

Divine Large Antique French Linen Tablecloth & 12 Huge Banquet Napkins, Lapkins, Serviettes, Matching Red Monogram, Grape, Leaves & Vine Motif

click images for larger view

Set Ten Large Very High Quality Pure Irish Linen Double Damask Dinner Banquet Napkins Lapkins ~ Millmark John Shaw Brown & Sons Weavers, c. 1800s, 19th Century Closer view of one large napkin showing unusual fancy damask pattern motif:  Set Ten Large Very High Quality Pure Irish Linen Double Damask Dinner Banquet Napkins Lapkins ~ Millmark John Shaw Brown & Sons Weavers, c. 1800s, 19th Century Alternate view of one large napkin showing unusual fancy damask pattern motif:  Set Ten Large Very High Quality Pure Irish Linen Double Damask Dinner Banquet Napkins Lapkins ~ Millmark John Shaw Brown & Sons Weavers, c. 1800s, 19th Century Closer view of one large napkin showing unusual fancy damask pattern motif:  Set Ten Large Very High Quality Pure Irish Linen Double Damask Dinner Banquet Napkins Lapkins ~ Millmark John Shaw Brown & Sons Weavers, c. 1800s, 19th Century View of pretty center mongram and damask pattern motif:  Set Ten Large Very High Quality Pure Irish Linen Double Damask Dinner Banquet Napkins Lapkins ~ Millmark John Shaw Brown & Sons Weavers, c. 1800s, 19th Century Magnified view of pretty center mongram:  Set Ten Large Very High Quality Pure Irish Linen Double Damask Dinner Banquet Napkins Lapkins ~ Millmark John Shaw Brown & Sons Weavers, c. 1800s, 19th Century Magnifed view of clover / shamrock mill mark:  Set Ten Large Very High Quality Pure Irish Linen Double Damask Dinner Banquet Napkins Lapkins ~ Millmark John Shaw Brown & Sons Weavers, c. 1800s, 19th Century  Set Ten Large Very High Quality Pure Irish Linen Double Damask Dinner Banquet Napkins Lapkins ~ Millmark John Shaw Brown & Sons Weavers, c. 1800s, 19th Century Alternate view of napkins with magnified inset of ornate monogram:  Set Ten Large Very High Quality Pure Irish Linen Double Damask Dinner Banquet Napkins Lapkins ~ Millmark John Shaw Brown & Sons Weavers, c. 1800s, 19th Century

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