Florence Broadhurst Japanese Floral. For more than five decades, Florence Broadhurst created original wallpaper designs. These have been translated by Cadrys into hand-woven rugs made in Nepal using Tibetan wool, silk and natural fibres. Japanese Floral consists of carefully inlaid silk married with a lush palette of colour.
Bob Cadry was 15 when he began to appreciate everything his father, Jacques, had achieved in the family’s rug business.
“Until then I’d been embarrassed to have a family working in rugs. I wanted to be an Aussie and to go surfing – I didn’t like the association of being a ‘migrant’,” says Bob, laughing.
“But at 15 dad took me to India and Turkey and exposed me to the amazing world that was our background. I remember we took a 4WD from village to village and my father spoke several languages, so along the way he met and spoke to the local rugmakers.
“It was an intriguing experience and I became more and more taken by the beauty and history of the rugs that were part of our business. I developed an appreciation of the stories behind them. My father always described rugs as ‘works of art for the floor’, and that’s still how I see them.”
Cadrys specialises in high-end modern, decorative and traditional rugs and a range of old, fine and antique collector’s pieces. The Classic Collection includes silks and masterweaves, while the Contemporary Collection includes designs by Florence Broadhurst and Jan Kath, a multi-award-winning carpet designer renowned internationally as being at the forefront of contemporary rug art.
Jan Kath Ferrara Radi Little Rocked. The Radi range brings together powerful fluorescent colours, motifs from Italian wall coverings and Indian saris, and long and brightly coloured fringes that create a fun and slightly “hippie-esque” effect.
“We have one of the best collections of fine and antique rugs in Australia and that will always be a cornerstone of our business,” says Bob Cadry.
“But we’ve also moved into the domain of hand-knotted contemporary rugs that will be the antiques of tomorrow – such as the work of Jan Kath. When we learnt about him he was this young Afghan Hazara guy who studied art and design in New York. When he returned to Afghanistan he began sketching contemporary rug designs using traditional hand-spun wools and vegetable dyes. That became our first contemporary collection.”
Jacques was born in Iran but attended high school and university in France, where he studied industrial chemistry. When he returned to Iran he opened a perfumery, but he had a strong interest in art and design.
“He loved collecting art – calligraphy, icons, rugs, paintings, sculptures,” says Bob.
“In 1951, he travelled to Australia, fell in love with this country and moved his family here. But he quickly realised he couldn’t continue working in the perfume business in Australia and so he turned to rugs.”
Vintage Patchworks The contemporary Vintage Patchworks range comes in a diverse palette of colours – from rich purples and bright oranges to textured patches of calming turquoise and classic beiges.
In 1952, Jacques opened Cadrys Handwoven Rugs in Edgecliff, Sydney. The business is celebrating its 60th anniversary and now has a presence in Melbourne. Does Cadry see a difference in tastes between the two cities?
“Clients in Melbourne are very discerning. We have a lot of requests for bespoke rugs in Melbourne and the taste is primarily contemporary,” he says.
“At the moment people in Melbourne also seem to appreciate different fibres – bamboo silks, nettle and undyed wools. These create a grain so a rug is not one-dimensional but has shimmering shades and textures that highlight a design in many different ways.”
Jacques Cadry died nine years ago but by then the business had passed to Bob, who now runs it with his nephew, Mark, and sons, Ari and Jared.
“Ari didn’t think he’d come into the business initially but a year ago he said, ‘Dad, I realise I love the rugs and want to get involved’. Much like my father and I, my sons also love the stories and history that go with our rugs,” says Cadry.
“My dad would be so proud to know we’ve continued his passion for beautiful hand-woven rugs and for those works of art for the floor.”
Cadrys Melbourne, 442 High Street, Prahran, 9510 7799 www.cadrys.com.au