Bizarre Silks

12.12.13 9:25 PM ET

Lucy in the Sky with ... Snuff?

The Metropolitan Museum shows psychedelic textiles from circa 1700

The term of art for this kind of textile is “Bizarre Silk”, and it couldn’t be more appropriate: This silk could pass as acid-test Art Nouveau, but it’s actually a fabric from an as-yet-unidentified source in early 18th-century Europe that shows an influence from as-yet-unidentified Asian cultures. The example shown here is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum, where I saw it in the  exhibition called “Interwoven Globe: The Worldwide Textile Trade 1500-1800”. I want a dressing gown made from it, to inspire my opium dreams.

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