ZolTany's'Mcrch.nl Stripc'w.llp.pcrshown hcrc in the colourwaJ',mcrch.m greenandTudortocl
-w ••


this dining room'. I"'inteddtmration, doncc1670and


IN THE PROJECTINGmi,lwi,dowof.
tile-hungbuildingonMarlborough'shighstreet,ahouseflyhas momentarilyceaseditsbuzzingandcometorestonapanelof brushingaway,swattingorsquishingwiHshiftthispersistent stainedglass.Oratleast,that'showit]ooks.lnfact,noamountof pest. And so it's been for over three centuries, teasinglypaintedonbytheartistwhocreatedthepanel,which serves a practical a yellow border as well as a decorarivefunction, around the impish insect themotto,in as a sundial. numerals f1yIn are Roman

ever since

it was


from one to 12and

Latin: 'Whileyouwatch,l 17th-centuryvis-

Such is life.' Here, then, is a silly but charming ualjokeabollltheswiflpassageoftime

circumslanC€Sconspiretopreserveaparticularmoment-another Occasionally, of course, the dock is effectively stopped when sort offlyin amber. This house is one such case. Originally owned by a silk merchant named Thomas Bayly, it dates from 1653, when



n,edcsignfor'S.lTron W,ldcn',avJila~le in \\'~llp'l'cr .nd . ....here,r.bric(from top,chMco;.I;gold; lerr.cotta) come. fromanE]i"bcthan w,UI'";nlinginlh,, J"""""tow"ofthc .. mc namC,'Aotid<c"""" bl.dtocrollingfonru ona white brlground " .. , then. popular domcslkd~.ign

arre~tingJook, The 'amber'

not least for a 17th-century that ensured




But l'lltellyouwhat,I'Uemployajoumeyman

the preservationofthisschemewas

paintertocomeandpaintusasilk-stripepattern."' InaniceechooftheadaptationBaylymadeforhiswalls(imitatingsilk with painn.his decorative scbeme has recently replicatedinpaperfor2Ist-centlirywalls.'MerchalltStripe'forms partofallewcollectiolloffabricsandwallpapersproducedby Zoffany with mural artist Melissa White. A specialist in the research,restorationandreproductionofElizabethanwallpainlings,logetherwithhersludiopartnerDavidCutmore,White's past commissions have ranged from recreating forShakespeare'sBinhplaceMuseum ingthe house. Roman garden Bayly For Zoffany's 'Arden' in Stratford collection, Melissa archive painted cloths been

dado-level panelling 1990s the Merchant's

that was at some point fixed over it. In the House Trust removed this to reveal the

stripesbeneath,andmissingareasha"esincebeenrepainted Nothing quite like this Rainbow Room.as

it is known, survives

elsewhereinBritain.AmoreorlesscolltemporarypaintingbyPieter deHOO<;h,lnltriQrQ/rmBurgo/1lQSrm'CounciIChamiJerinlheAmsrmkim TownHa/J,wi/hVisilors,cl663·S,depictsastripecisilkwalkoveringof near-identical.colouringandspacing.Andherepemapsliestheclue tothisroominMarlborough.As)ohnSykes,chairmanofthetrust, explains: 'This family were silk merchants; they were importing from Amsterdam. My theory is that when the second Thomas

to reproducexplains, she

fresco from Livia's villa ina NottingHill their extensive of terh-and narrowed

camealong-heinheritedfromhisfatherc1670-heandhiswife extended the house and redecorated it.Andwhenshesuggested hangingsilkroundthenewdiningroom,hesaid;uyou mustbejok-

and David

sifted through

17th-century English mural patterns. 'We gradually Ihemdowntolldesignscelebratingthed;versefashionsthatt>



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