Tag Archives: brooke Cadwalladar

Dogs and Brooke Cadwallader

I saw (and bought) a lot of great things on my recent trip to the Liberty Antiques Festival, but probably my favorite is this superb silk scarf by Brooke Cadwallader. Seriously, how can you beat a scarf with a map of the world peppered with our best friend throughout. I’ve written about Brooke Cadwallader in the past, so here’s a refresher course.

Brooke was an American who went to France in the interwar period. There he met his future wife, Mary Pearsall, an Italian/American who was working at Maison Tilly, a scarf maker. They joined forces and began their own scarf business, where they attracted the attention of designers such as Schiaparelli and Molyneux. Success led them to marriage. Unfortunately, the Nazis arrived in Paris, and the Cadwalladers were forced to flee. They ended up in New York, where they restarted their textile printing business.

They were again successful, and produced scarves and also fabrics they sold to designers like Tina Leser and Nettie Rosenstein. The New York operation was small, but in 1950 they moved to Mexico where the business expanded as Casa de los Gallos SA. The business operated until some time in the 1970s. Due to a crooked accountant and government bureaucracy, Cadwallader lost the business. Before turning over the factory, he burned all the textiles that were in stock, his silk screens, and many of the original designs. (Thanks so much to David Noyes, Cadwallader’s great nephew, for this great information.)

Brooke and Mary were fond of old prints, and you can see how they incorporated an antique look into many of their designs.
Here’s the entire scarf. My photography does not give a clue as to how wonderful this is. Click the image for a larger view.
The design makes no attempt to place each dog near the country of origin. Instead, all the dogs are citizens of the world.

And here’s the signature to look for. These scarves are always winners.

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Filed under Designers, Novelty Prints, Vintage Clothing

Updates – The Rest of the Story

Image courtesy and copyright of Beth Walker.

 

Some time ago I posted about how a lucky reader had found three Brooke Cadwallader Christmas scarves.  As luck would have it, Cadwallader’s great-nephew, David Noyes,  recently commented on the post:

Brooke Cadwallader was my great uncle. I worked with him in his factory, Casa de los Gallos S.A. as a teenager.  I hand-inked the opaques for the silk screens. He was a meticulous craftsman who insisted on perfection from himself and from everyone else, but he was also a kind and generous man who infused everything he did, including his art and his business, with wry humor. He treated his employees like family.

He never copyrighted any of his designs and they were freely imitated -if not stolen- for decades. Leopard skin print? Originally by Brooke Cadwallader. Rattan print? Originally by Brooke Cadwallader. Toile wallpaper print? Originally by Brooke Cadwallader.

When he lost his factory and business due to bureaucratic laws and a crooked accountant, he burned all of his screens, stock fabric and most of his designs before vacating the premises.

When he passed away some 30 odd years ago, I settled his estate (being the only one in my family with Spanish) and I have all of his sample books, many neckties and a number of shirts made from his fabrics.

It was a delight learning more about Cadwallader from someone who actually knew him.

Images copyright and courtesy of Suzanne Williams

 

Here’s another look at Blanche Nechanicky’s 1920s middy dress.  Reader Nancy very kindly looked for information about Blanche on Ancestry.com, and she hit the motherload!  Because of her unusual name and because we knew the year of her birth, Nancy located Blanche in census records, in city directories, and on ocean liner passenger lists.  There are even yearbook photos. According to the 1929 Iowa State University yearbook, The Bomb, she was majoring in home economics, as were all the other young women on the page.

Remember this Liberty Tana lawn blouse I made last summer?  I heard from Richard Reynolds at GuerrillaGardening.org who told me the story behind my fabric.

The fabric is a special one to me and my wife Lyla as it is actually about us, it’s a portrayal of guerrilla gardening in London with us both in it from Liberty’s spring summer 2013 collection. Liberty even called the fabric Richard and Lyla.  On the Liberty blog, and for sale online.

I always love learning more about the topics discussed here, so please email or post when you can add the rest of the story.

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Filed under Rest of the Story