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Published: 12 December 2020

By Andy Ross

Articles of the Week - number forty-four - velveteen hangings

Many of the everyday things that we take for granted are discarded and forgotten, but they hold the key to the sensibilities and styles of the period they come from. 

These two hangings come from different parts of the world - the camel with figure was made in Tunisia by a company that started in the 1970s and continues today - Stivel, while the pandas was made by the China National Native Produce & Animal By-Products Import & Export Corporation, Kiangsu Branch, the first of the state-controlled enterprises in the country. Apparently the latter still trades in tea while the former continues to make pieces like this from a factory that employs 144 people.

While these hangings are not to everyone's taste - some might even consider them kitsch, if you can believe that! - they do demonstrate something about those elusive elements: taste and style. They also hold information about manufacture, dyes and materials as well as design, espeically for an overseas market to where these originate. These two seemingly unimportant items are a great addition to the collection and will be on display sometime soon for others to enjoy.