It is getting increasingly difficult to find Victorian stools and other pieces of furniture with original woolwork embroideries still intact on them. I was delighted to come across this one. It came out of an old farmhouse in the south of England as part of a routine house clearance. Not only does it have its original Victorian woolwork embroidery, but the subject matter was rare and exceptionally fetching.
The tiger nicely fills the space of the padded top. The colors are still good, and there is much detail to enjoy. The eyes and mouth have been left with some empty canvas to provide a more interesting look. The cream-colored background goes well with the colors of the tiger. The sides are embroidered with leaves and flowers all the way around.
There seems to be some insect damage on the wool of the side panels as there are places of missing embroidery. However, as this stool is from about 1840, the fact that it has a few losses of wool would be typical of a piece of furniture of this age and type. The top has some slight degree of missing stitches, denoting some normal wear over the last 175 years, but not enough to detract from its overall decorative appeal. It could also benefit from a light clean. I left it in its original condition.
The pretty mahogany turned legs are in excellent condition. They have a good rich color and a nice patina.
The stool was upholstered in tradition style with a webbed seat stuffed with horse hair and batting to make it more comfortable to sit on.
This is an excellent example of a piece made during a time when Berlin wool embroidery was quite the fad for upholstering pieces of furniture. It would serve well as a creative, characterful and early antique piece in today’s home.
The stool is approximately 12” square and 22” high.
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