Dash, Queen Victoria’s famous pet, was also a black and white spaniel. He inspired artists and needleworkers to create their own depictions of the dog for many years. This Berlin wool version was created in the late 19th century.
It was embroidered in counted cross stitch in fine wool yarns on a linen ground, with the large spaniel perched atop his tall cushion. Several tassels are attached to a red blanket that is on top of the cushion. The dog has a nice blue ribbon for a collar. The fur was entirely worked in black, grays and white. The background was done in a complimentary color way that contrasts well with the black and white of the dog and the red of the blanket.
Furthermore, the way that the background was stitched imitates a semi-striped wall that was decorated on a diagonal. The stitches were done in even rows with the same degree of tightness, making for a homogenous background.
I framed the woolwork in a burl walnut frame that was fashioned to look antique with its ribbed edges that appear to have wear but is part of its decorative design. There also is a small beaded slip that was placed to keep the glass from lying directly against the woolwork.
The piece's condition and color retention are excellent for its age. The black, gray, blue and red wool yarns have remarkable vibrancy. There is a degree of overall fading of the original woolwork panel, which actually adds considerable antique charm to the needlework.
It measures 18-¼ inches wide by 15-¼ inches high, including the frame.