Swirling exotic flora in bright pink and white on a ground of deepest black satin in this textile would have made for a striking evening toilette in the 1870s. The addition of flying insects, dragons, and a prominent peacock, a favorite Victorian symbol, allude to the persistent vogue for Chinoiserie that was popular in England.
This textile comes from the archive of Warner & Sons, the English company founded by Benjamin Warner in 1857 that specialized in figured Jacquard-woven silks. At the time that this textile was produced, the company would have been known by the name F. Folliott, Warner, Sillett & Ramm, as Warner shrewdly partnered with other designers and manufacturers throughout the nineteenth century in order to consolidate business. In 1885, the firm acquired Charles Norris & Co., holders of a prestigious Royal Warrant, allowing them to furnish grand palaces and embassies with their luxurious silks.