CARRARA— CARRIAGES 605 it cannot on the whole be said that they have solved the is still carried on in various parts of England, and problem of floor decoration. They have been confronted 1ms been introduced into the north-west of Ireland; but with the enormous difficulty of getting variety and the relatively high price of labour must always prevent character, while complying strictly with the axiom that this industry from attaining great proportions in the a carpet should look equally well from all sides. Con- United Kingdom, as compared with Germany and stantly ignoring this rule, they have simply used for Austria, where it is extensively carried on. Japan has carpets designs which were originally intended for walls entered this field, but its products have been poor or hangings, without any attempt to adapt them to the m quality and disappointingly inartistic, the best being special requirements of a floor. The striking designs of wea copies of Persian rugs. Japanese manufacturers Mr Walter Crane are free from this defect. Of many seem to have steadfastly set their faces in this direction, trade designs it must still be said that the more perfect mstead of developing along their own native artistic lines. the manufacturing process becomes, the more they appear I he demands of the market probably account for this. to lend themselves to what is bad. At the same time Various attempts have been made to produce the many are in excellent taste, and in the all-important knotted fabric by power-loom. Some have been fairly sucmatter of colour great advances have been made, due cessful, but none has as yet attained sufficient importance almost entirely to the manufacturers, who have supplied to call for more extended notice. The manufacture of what no school of art yet provides, namely, systematic carpets is very extensively carried on in America, its chief training in colour, founded on the study of the best feature being the enormous extent to which the moquette examples. system of weaving has been developed. (a. mi.) On the Continent of Europe the influence of Vart nouveau (the new style of art) has been strongly felt. In Csrrara^ an Italian town in Tuscany, province France some rather striking designs have been produced, of Massa and Carrara, 5 miles from the Mediterranean which show a flat treatment of free-growing natural forms, coast and 34 miles by rail N.U.W. from Pisa. In the but they have the fault of upward growth and, usually, of province of Carrara there are altogether 1264 quarries, of thin and washy colour. In Germany designers have gone which 311 were worked at Carrara, 54 at Massa, and 106 to the wildest extremes. Everything has been sacrificed lit Versilia in 1898 j the number of workmen employed in to novelty, the results being carpets which have no the quarries, sawmills, and polishing works being 10,155, other quality, and which have been well described of whom 6522 were at Carrara, 1100 at Massa, and 2533 as monstrosities in design and nightmares in colour. at Versilia in the same year. In the years 1886-97 inThe chief improvement in the manufacture of carpets clusive the annual output averaged 178,500 tons, of which has been the application to the power-loom of 154,000 tons were exported (161,260 tons in 1898). The the moquette system of weaving, which, originally quarries are served by a mountain railway of 10 miles in invented in France, was perfected in the United States, length, opened in 1890, which descends from 1500 feet and introduced into England about the year 1877. Its down to the sea. The art of carving and sculpturing is essential principle, common to several types of loom, and taught in the academy of fine arts and the school of design to several fabrics called by different trade-names, such as (1860). Population of town, including Avenza, its port “Royal’’and “Imperial” Axminster, is as follows:—A (1881), 23,072; (1901), 26,325; of province (1881), set of long “spools” or bobbins is prepared, one for each 169,469; (1901), 195,840. transverse row of small squares in the design. On these spools coloured woollen threads are wound side by side, Carriages.—Before enumerating the developments corresponding in colour and position to the design squares. which have taken place in the manufacture of carriages The spools being fixed in series in the loom, are brought since 1875, we shall notice the period of transition, dating successively into position; rows of tufts (or “moquettes”) back some forty years earlier. At that time the means of are one by one cut off from the projecting ends of the travelling by road and horse-power, in the case of public threads, and inserted by suitable mechanism in a frame- coaches, had reached in England its utmost limits of speed work of simple warp and weft, thus forming a pile surface and convenience, and the travelling-carriages of the nobility reproducing the original design. Hitherto this method and the wealthy were equipped with the completest and of weaving has been commercially applied to narrow most elaborate contrivances to secure personal comfort widths only; there are considerable mechanical and other and safety. More particularly was this the case as regards difficulties in the way of its application to very wide Continental tours, which had become indispensable to looms. Another important manufacturing development all who had at their command the means for this costly has been the application of the power-loom to the weaving educational and pleasurable experience. Concurrently of seamless carpets, which have to some extent taken the with this development the style and character of Court place of narrow widths intended for seaming. The seam- equipages had also reached a consummate degree of splenless method has been applied to Brussels and tapestry dour and artistic excellence. Not only was this the case looms, but the greatest development in this direction has in points of decoration, in which livery colour and heraldic taken place in the patent Axminster or chenille process, devices were effectively employed, but also in the beauty and in a modification of the Kidderminster fabric known of outline and skilful structural adaptation, in which as “Roman” carpet. The products of these two pro- respect carriages of that period made greater demands cesses are well known under the trade-names of “ Parquet upon the capacity of the builder and the skill of the workCarpets” and “Art Squares.” man than do those of the present day. For this attainThe importation of carpets from the East has very ment the art of coachmaking was indebted to a very few largely increased, and European and American influence leading men, whose genius has left its impress upon the has been brought to bear upon their design and colouring. art, and is still jealously cherished by those who in early Where the best ancient examples have been used as life had experience of their achievements. The early models, little or no harm has been done, but where portion of Queen Victoria’s reign was an age of much attempts have been made to introduce light delicate emulation; the best-equipped carriages of that period, colour schemes wholly foreign to Oriental traditions, of noble families and foreign embassies, with the results have sometimes been disastrous. The manu- distinctive their graceful outline and superb appointments, and facture of hand-knotted carpets on the Oriental plan harnessed to a splendid breed of horses—all harmoniously
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