26 June 2007

Mme Caroline Testout

I need some help, please!

The reason I'm asking is this ...

When I went to Ardingly a couple of months ago I bought a 72"x105" damask cloth with a name woven in the end. I assumed that the cloth (which has never been used/washed) was commissioned by or for someone of importance, but did nothing about it at the time. The name is Caroline Testout.



I caught a couple of minutes of Gardeners' World on television on Friday evening and they mentioned a rose named ... Mme Caroline Testout. Alarm bells went off in my head and I spent the next couple of hours trying to remember whether the cloth was in one of the antiques centres or in a box here at home or in the store. When I finally found it and opened it out it is amazing. Full of roses.



Mme Caroline Testout is the name of a rose bred in 1890. Today I received an email response to a query I sent to the owner of this site who directed me to this site which states that Mme Caroline Testout was a French fashion designer. I've Googled all there is to Google about the rose (shortly before WWI 10,000 bushes were planted along the streets of Portland, Oregon earning it the nickname "The City of Roses"; it is purported to be one of the finest hybrid tea roses ever produced and was bred by Pernet-Ducher), but Madame Testout herself is a problem!

This is where you, kind bloggers, come into your own. I need to know where/when/etc. As the rose was bred in 1890 presumably Caroline was a 19th Century designer. If any of you know, or can find any information about her I'd be so grateful. In view of the above, I'm guessing that the cloth was in fact made to celebrate the introduction of the rose rather than for Caroline herself, but who knows ...

I'd also love to hear from you if you live in Portland and have a Mme Caroline Testout in your yard!

10 comments:

smilnsigh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
smilnsigh said...

{Oh dear! I messed up my clickable link again. So I try again, to do it correctly}

Dear Sue,
My only suggestion, on your question is... to ask Dear Cory if she knows more about this. If you aren't familiar with her ~ she is a wonderful American who lives in France.

And I only have 13 years on you, hu? Well, that's lots my Dear. :-) But you too, should be careful. I guess it's never a good age, to be silly with traversing steps, of any kind.

And YES, thank you so much for commenting!!! I know we don't have time for all the reading/commenting in "Pretty Blog Land," which we wish we had. But still, it's lovely to learn of new people, via comments. And thus, be able to pop in on them, from time to time.

Hugs,
Mari-Nanci

smilnsigh said...

Yeaaaa! I did it right, the 2nd time!!! So I removed the first, messed-up comment. :-)

Mari-Nanci

Sophie Honeysuckle said...

I have never heard of her either!! But, I love Ardingly....

Sophie Honeysuckle said...

Hi Sue! I REALLY want to go the the July Ardingly! But it depends on whether my husband can get the day off work to take us (I don't drive!!) Fingers crossed, I should know nearer the time!!!

Clare said...

Hi Sue, Good luck with your search for information - that's what makes the antiques and collectables trade so interesting isn't it? You never know what you will find next or learn. Clare xx

Lallee said...

What a beautiful blog you have. I found it following a link from your comment on Nostalgia at Stone Cottage. This was such an interesting post. I thought we could google just about anything these days, but I am finding no more about this lady than you are. She certainly has a beautiful rose named after her. I love a mystery, so I'll be watching to see if you get any more info.

BeachysCapeCodCupboard said...

Isn't that amazing! I've only now seen this post... hope you have found an answer to your treasure!

Anna said...

Hello Sue
I have a fascinating book called 'Who Does Your Garden Grow ?' by Alex Pankhurst which looks into the background of over one hundred plants. Apparently Madame Caroline Testout was a 'late nineteenth century couturiere from Genoble,the proprietor of fashionable salons in London and Paris' . The chapter goes on to give more information about the origin of the rose - if you are interested I can send you the full chapter.

Vintage to Victorian said...

Hi Anna

Yes please, I'd love more information. I emailed you, but it came back undeliverable. You'll see I've added an updated post, which I was in the middle of doing when your comment came though. Hopefully you'll read this, and see that I would be thrilled to know more.

Thank you!
Sue