Museum Homepage

The San Mateo County Historical Association
Online Collections Database

The mission of the San Mateo County Historical Association is to inspire wonder and discovery
of the cultural and natural history of San Mateo County.

Object Record

  • Email This Page
  • Send Feedback
Catalog Number 1980.209
Description Valance, n.d. Burnt orange velvet with yellowish cotton backing and several red, green, orange rope braid trims. It has three sections with gold, green, brown, yellowish green, and blue-green tassels which are connected to the scalloped trim at the bottom of each of the sections. The design of rope braid trims are loops and curves through out with heart shaped curve in the middle of the section. There is also a missing tassel in a separate bag. Backing is stitched back to front, and looks pretty visible.
Object Name Valance
Collection 3D - Window & Door Coverings
Title Valance, n.d.
Date n.d.
Creator Unknown
Role Fiber Artist
Inscription Text none
Notes "A window valance (or pelmet in the UK[1]) is a form of window treatment that covers the uppermost part of the window and can be hung alone or paired with window blinds, or curtains. Valances are a popular decorative choice in concealing drapery hardware. Window valances were popular in Victorian interior design. In draping or bunting form they are commonly referred to as swag…The earliest recorded history of interior design is rooted in the renaissance Era, a time of great change and rebirth in the world of art and architecture, and much of this time saw understated, simple treatments, eventually moving towards more elaborate fabrics of multiple layers of treatments, including, towards the end of this period, valances, swags, jabots, and pelmets. By the Baroque and early Georgian period (1643-1730), elaborate and theatrical treatments placed high emphasis on the cornice and pelmet as a way to finish off the top of a window treatment.

Valances can be used alone but are often hung over windows where curtains and drapes have been installed to better frame the windows. Many times they're installed over kitchen sinks or in other areas where floor space may be limited or blocked; they can be used to hide architectural flaws and windows placed at different heights; when using blinds, shades, and shutters, valances are often used to soften the windows or to tie in the fabrics of corresponding furniture such as couches and recliners.

Valances can be manufactured with any type of fabric, but most are made of jacquard, silk, faux silk, poly/cotton, linen, satin, velvet and polyester. Many are lined with an extra piece of fabric sewn on the back to prevent the solar radiation from damaging the fabric." [ 3/23/2017]
Dimensions H-18.5 W-82.5 D-0.875 inches
Dimension Details Dimensions at the top are for the middle section of the valance.

Left section: 17.875 x 82.5 x .875
Right section: 18.125 x 82.5 x .875
Medium Textile
Search Terms Household Decor
Household Goods
Subjects Draperies