My first and only piece of Fornasetti is a scarf. Being me, I’d either want a bit of textile or paper designed by him, so that’s OK. I got the scarf a long time ago and it has remained in a bit of archival tissue paper until recently. I finally got around to mounting it on unbleached calico. And it has just come back to me framed for my bedroom wall.
The design is a Rebus a ‘kind of word puzzle that uses pictures to represent words or parts of words.’ But it is rather feminine in a way I don’t normally associate with Fornasetti’s work. He did do a fabric design called ‘Rebus’ on a yellow ground, but it is quite different. I’m not sure if he wrote the text on this scarf but I guess he hand-drew the words out. The pictures are lovely, things from a boudior – slippers, comb, scent. I really love illustrations of domestic items and these have a very particular personality.
The Fornasetti signature sits in the lower left corner next to the Jacqmar name. Jacqmar did some great scarves in the 40s and 50s. Very middle-England, wear with your Jaeger camel coat sort of scarves. I’m thinking my scarf must be early 50s. I can’t find anything else about it. It’s not in my ‘Designer of Dreams’ book on him. But I did hear tell recently of a cased two volume coffee table book on him. That might help if I can track it down in a library.