Savonnerie manufactory (estab. 1626)
Savonnerie panels after designs by Alexandre-François Desportes (French, b.1661, d.1743)
carpet panels manufactured by Savonnerie manufactory (French, estab. 1626)
1800-c 1883
1719-1769 {wool panels}
Place of production:
Chaillot, France
wool, wood and gilt bronze
Type of object:
screens (furniture)
Accession number:


Although royal carpet-weaving workshops were already in existence at the Louvre, it was in 1630 that a larger workshop was set up at an abandoned soap factory (savon is French for soap, hence the name Savonnerie) in Chaillot, a village to the south-west of Paris. This became the royal carpet manufactory, and was patronised by all the French kings for palace furnishings and diplomatic gifts.

In addition to carpets for tables and floors, the Savonnerie produced carpet panels for mounting onto furniture, usually screens, benches and stools. This large-scale Savonnerie folding screen is after designs by Alexandre-François Desportes. The animals are thought to be those in the royal menagerie at Versailles. These screen panels, produced from 1719, were only used in royal residences, usually in ante rooms, where the furnishings needed to be luxurious, yet practical, excluding draughts or concealing servants. The panels were mounted in the current gilt frames in the 19th century. This screen is an important survival, and complements other Savonnerie carpet-mounted furniture at Waddesdon.

Physical description

Dimensions (mm):
each panel 1860 x 635
de Rothesay (illegible inventory number and arms of the Stuart de Rothesay family)
handwritten label on underside of frame on one leaf


Possibly acquired by Lord Charles Stuart de Rothesay (b.1779, d.1845); in the collection of Louisa, Marchioness of Waterford (b.1818, d.1891); acquired by Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild (b.1839, d.1898); inherited by his sister Miss Alice de Rothschild (b.1847, d.1922); inherited by her great-nephew James de Rothschild (b.1878, d.1957); bequeathed to Waddesdon, The Rothschild Collection (The National Trust) in 1957.
Waddesdon (National Trust)
Bequest of James de Rothschild, 1957



Linley, Sunday Telegraph Review on Extraordinary Furniture, 1996
Sir Francis Watson, French Eighteenth Century Furniture at Waddesdon, Gazette des Beaux-Arts, 54, August 1959, 28-31
Embroidery. Journal of the Embroiderers' Guild; Spring 1972?
Nicole Garnier, Anne Forray-Carlier, Marie-Christine Anselm; Singeries et Exotisme chez Christophe Huet; Paris; Editions d'Art Monelle Hayot; 2010; see first page. J. Paul Getty Museum screen very similar
Ulrich Leben, Danielle Kisluk-Grosheide, Deborah L. Krohn; Salvaging the Past: Georges Hoentschel and the French Decorative Arts at The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Bard Graduate Center: Decorative Arts, Design History, Material Culture (April 4 to August 11, 2013); Italy; Yale University Press, The Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design, and Culture, The Metropolitan Museum of Art; p. 31

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