Silk Embroidery in Period Frame Circa 1840
- Antique item
This beautiful floral spray was embroidered with silk thread on ecru silk fabric at the very start of the Victorian era, about 1840. The original backing, seen in photograph #3, is a piece of early printed wallpaper, faded and in such crumbling condition that we had our framer put a new archival back board over it. Otherwise, it would have simply disintegrated and fallen off completely. So it remains, now unseen.
Photograph #2 was taken when the embroidery was out of the frame, so you could see it without the distraction of the reflections from the glass. Photograph #4 shows the current back with the new dust paper and hanging wire we had installed; we're also including the wall hanger (not pictured). Photograph #1 shows the re-assembled embroidery under the glass.
The flowers, buds, stems and leaves of the bouquet were very skillfully done with satin stitches except for the centers of the two peonies, which were done with tiny French knots. (Asian peonies were introduced in America in the early 1800's and caused a great sensation). Thread colors used include gold, cream and shades of green, all of which have presumably faded a bit over the 170+ intervening years. The classic period frame was constructed of wood with hand cut nails and given a coat of gesso before being covered with lemon gold leaf. It's 1 1/4 inches wide and in wonderful shape with just some scattered chips, fine cracks and exposed nails.
The embroidery itself is in marvelous condition, with not a stitch affected or flawed. The silk fabric has some darkening in spots, particularly at the upper edge and there are a few small holes which are not obvious. Overall framed measurements are 11 3/4 inches tall and 13 3/4 inches wide. This antique framed needlework is ready to hang to admire and enjoy.
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