Tableaux Scéniques: More than Just Historical Wallcoverings
Last week we spoke about the power of dramatic storytelling, and so it’s only fitting that we dedicate this week to our Tableaux Scéniques. They are, after all, the ultimate storytellers of interior design.
Our Tableaux Scéniques rewrite the rules for historical wallcoverings. Taking antique woven tapestries and hand-painted papers— exclusively derived from original sources such as great houses, museums, and private collections— we then gently transcribe the centuries-old designs into a variety of different textiles and papers. These can be used for upholstery, drapery, or wallcovering. Whatever the decision, the impact is clear: as the scenes reflect throughout the expanse of a room, they persuade rich and historical narratives to talk again. Perhaps more magnificent, though, is the Tableau Scénique’s ability to not only reflect a historic narrative but to also inspire future narratives.
This power is perfectly exemplified by our “Ussé Chinoiserie Yuzu” and “Jardin d’Ussé Dormant.” Both of these Tableaux Scéniques come from the private collection of Château d’Ussé, the French castle that inspired Charles Perrault to write his version of the famous fairytale, Sleeping Beauty.
Though there have been a number of versions of Sleeping Beauty, they all depict similar imagery of twisting vines, overgrown greenery, and bursting flowers draped around the princess’s bed while she sleeps. In fact, the forest imagery is so important to the tale that the English version’s full title is actually Sleeping Beauty in the Wood, and the German title translates to Little Briar Rose.
The original Usse Chinoiserie Yuzu wallpaper in the Chateau d'Usse (Left)
Our Tableau Scenique transcription accurately reflects the historic scene and botanic imagery (Right)
The original Jardin d'Usse Dormant tapestry at Chateau d'Usse (Top)
Our Tableaux Sceniques can be transcribed onto many different materials (Bottom)
It comes as no surprise, then, that our Tableaux Scéniques from Château d’Ussé also possess the rich forest and botanical imagery by which Charles Perrault was so inspired. A myriad of leaf formations and fruits dance from one end of our “Ussé Chinoiserie Yuzu” to the other, while our “Jardin d’Ussé Dormant” is a Verdure Tapestry— otherwise known as a Garden Tapestry.
Clearly, these scenes can both reflect narratives and inspire narratives. And that is the power of interior design’s ultimate storytellers: the Tableaux Scéniques.
Watts of Westminster is a leading British design house and creator of Textiles, Wallcoverings, Tableaux Sceniques and Passementerie, with over a century of design consultancy expertise.
You will find us at London’s Design Centre Chelsea Harbour, the hub of European interior design. Our showroom exudes personality and warmth, brimming with colour, pattern and expertise. We are there to work with you to achieve your vision.