Dating early to mid-1950s, these glazed cotton curtain panels from Puritan feature a novelty children’s zoo print in yellow, green, white, grey, taupe and navy on a bright red ground.
Included in the menagerie are elephants, bears, lions, giraffes, monkeys, tigers and deer. Interspersed with the charmingly drawn, cuddly wild animals are recurring spiral designs in white.
1941’s “Dumbo” and the many circus movies of the 1950s created a huge vogue for zoo- and circus-themed motifs on nursery walls, windows, and upholstery fabric. Presumably to make it suitably opague for a window treatment, the cotton on these two panels is highly glazed (on one side only).
Each panel measures 46” long and is 36” across, from one selvage to the other. The selvage is printed at regular intervals along one edge, with the words “Guaranteed to be a Puritan Print, Design the Zoo”.
Puritan Fabrics Inc. (which began printing their “guarantee” in the selvage in the late 1920s) specialized in drapery and upholstery in the 1940s and 1950s; a 1948 ad boasts that the company was “the first to coordinate patterns and colors in the drapery field”.
One panel is in excellent condition; the other is in good condition, with three smudges ranging in size from 1.5” to 2.5” (these may wash or spot clean out but in any event are well camouflaged by the strong print; photo #)
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