Pandora de Balthazár is the go-to source for the European Sleep System of ergonomic pillows, high-thread-count bedding, and antique and collectible linens. Combining her passionate knowledge of timeless European textiles with her personal understanding of the importance of rest, she has created a unique company within the luxury market.
The premier collection of antique textiles in the country, Pandora de Balthazár’s enormous inventory includes sheets, pillow shams, bed covers, tablecloths and a wide variety of other pieces. All textiles are one-of-a- kind artworks in linen, mohair, cotton and silk – from centuries-old European laces to Art Deco, Bohemian and the more modern Primitives. Textile services include custom design, restoration, and expert care and laundering of these precious products.
In addition, Pandora offers her revolutionary European Sleep System, a full platform of revitalizing sleep products made exclusively of the finest hand-picked Hungarian down. The system consists of four specially sized pillows designed to cradle your body supportively and promote ergonomically correct and healthy bed rest. The company also manufactures American size pillows, designer squares, down beds and duvets, baby bedding, and down-filled chairs and ottomans. A wide range of antique, new and custom bed linens are offered for all down products. To complete the experience, Pandora de Balthazár also carries a full line of handmade all natural lavender spa products as well as sleep and spa wear.
Pandora de Balthazár combines the European Sleep System and an incomparable collection of antique textiles in a wide spectrum of products designed to create a haven within your home, a place to renew mind, body and spirit. Her journey began at a moment of crisis:
At the height of a stellar career as a financial planner, Pandora de Balthazár was involved in an auto accident that resulted in a broken neck, during the aftermath of which medical professional after medical professional were at a loss as to how to treat her. It was during a trip to Hungary four years later when the avid textile collector sought water therapy when she landed in the hospital.
Pandora de Balthazár in Hungary
She never dreamed the situation would be prophetic but as time moved along, it proved to be just that, as the moment would lead her to her life’s work. Confined to bed, she found herself surrounded by beautiful textiles during what turned out to be a long recovery. The delicacy and romantic feel of the bedding, draperies and other varied fabrics in the rooms in which she convalesced set her to dreaming as she learned how to support her aching body by way of a sleep system that had been used in the country for centuries.
The combination of inspiring surroundings and critical support finally instituted crucial healing. While in Hungary, she would meet an aristocrat who would become her husband. Her life in a beautiful home near the grounds of the Royal Palace of Gödöllő—once the residence of a vintner, built in 1786—was an exciting one. This period also brought her an awareness about textiles that was mind-blowing.
An Avid Collector Finds Austro-Hungarian Textiles
“I had been a collector of what I perceived to be the most beautiful textiles ever produced until that moment,” she remarks. “Once I saw the quality and delicacy of the handwork creating the textiles from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, I found an intricacy I’d never seen. These deep primitives, as I call them—the woven jacquard whites and eyelet—have an age and depth to them that moved me beyond my former definition of fine linens.” With health restored, Pandora left behind the home-raised escargot and wine caves that gave such delicious personality to her daily existence to return to the crystalline sands of Florida’s Gulf Coast.
And though her life was a luxuriant one in every sense of the word while she lived abroad, the tactile experiences that remained the most vivid in her mind were those when she visited museums and held historic embroidery and textiles in her hands. “There was simply no comparison to anything I’d ever touched before,” she explains. “In Hungary, the back of the embroidery is as beautiful as the front. Few people have the opportunity to hold these, and because I was able to study so many fine specimens with my eyes and the sensory memory of my fingers, I can now pick up a piece of fabric or lace and almost always tell where it was made.”
Decades of Collection Creates Connoisseurship
Though her love of textiles crosses many periods, her absolute favorites are these primitives from the Austro-Hungarian Empire era. “Many people are surprised to hear that they are sustainable and machine-washable,” she says. “This is because they were made to be beautiful but also created to last. That far back in time, not only did weavers make their own thread to assure that the quality of their materials would measure up to their standards, they even made their own needles to ensure their tools were the finest they could find.”
It didn’t become clear immediately, but Pandora’s life work would be inspired by three factors that took root during this time in Hungary. First came her desire to rectify that once she returned to the US, she had no other choice but to put away the extravagantly sized, luxuriant shams she adored because they were out of proportion to pillow sizes available in the American marketplace.
Second was the depth and breadth of knowledge she had amassed concerning antique textiles. And third, she found herself determined to recreate the sleep system that had helped her to heal so that others could benefit from the principles.
Pandora de Balthazár European Luxury Bedding Was Born
The new business that was born of this triad of desires launched Pandora de Balthazár, an entity now manufacturing bedding to provide the same healing effects she experienced in Hungary and pillows to plump the lovely shams she collects and sells, and offering specimens from her collection of antique textiles to clients. These sensual products and the life experience Pandora gleaned from the challenges she has faced will be presented and explored here. We hope you will be inspired and rejuvenated. If you find something you love, let us know, will you?
If you live in or around the Florida Gulf Coast, stop by our Atelier and see us. We're located at 418 E. Wright Street in Pensacola and our phone number is 850-434-5117.