• Paisley shawl from Laura Fisher's FISHER HERITAGE/

    Paisley shawl from Laura Fisher's FISHER HERITAGE/

Though it might be fun, you don’t have to scour Europe or India to find fabulous antique shawls to wear or to decorate your home with because antiques dealer Laura Fisher has gathered a sumptuous array of these beautiful textiles to welcome Spring in her NYC gallery FISHER HERITAGE.

The astute shopper can delight in the fact that antique shawls are dual purpose - you can toss one on your sofa, AND you can wear it out the door! In either circumstance your choice would be appropriate as well as eye catching.

Fisher chooses shawls for their overall beauty, the intricacy of the designs; the colors incorporated into the weaving, and the quality of the materials. Antique paisleys and other shawls are available in woven wool, wool with silk, cotton, and printed wool challis. They were made in two sizes – approximately 5’ square, or as rectangles twice as long as they are wide, approximately 5’ x 10’.

Fisher always seeks out unusual and uncommon shawls in addition to the classic paisley shawl in shades of red around a small black center. So you will be intrigued to find European square shawls with roses and floral motifs, with cream, red or green centers, with black or blue backgrounds, and also long rectangular shawls with stripes and intricate all-over patterns. A plus for buyers is their choice condition.

Originally made as long scarves for male Indian royalty to drape over his body to indicate status, paisley shawls have become an eternal stylish enhancement for wardrobe or home since the mid 19th century. Paisley refers to the boteh or pine cone shape motif woven in shawls from India, and subsequently to the Scottish town in which many were manufactured. The patterns we love today were created by French and European designers who went to India upon colonization to guide the production of the expanding export shawl industry; these shawls are highly collectible today

Clients such as Peter Marino and Bill Blass have used Fisher’s shawls as throws, draperies, even for upholstery, and trend setters like Ralph Lauren have used the elaborate designs and colors as inspiration  for their home textile lines and for clothing.

Clarke Auction - Sunday April 22

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