Needleworks with animals, especially dogs and cats were popular in Victorian times. In this romantic early Victorian picture, the young lady (under a leafy bower, of course), is playing with her pet kitten. She is dangling a bit of yarn in front of it, and it is eagerly attempting to catch it in its paws. With the plaid table cover and the loch, castle and mountains in the background, it probably is of Scottish origin. (There originally was a paper with the inscription, “Worked by Violet Wood,” and it was dated 1840. Unfortunately, this scrap apparently was lost in shipping the piece to me.)
It was worked in very fine wool yarn in pettipoint. This type of intricate stitching with fine wool yarn allows the stitcher to create a world of patterns and forms such as leaves, lace shawls, table covers, etc., that would not be available for heavier gros point embroideries.
The colors of the piece harmonize well with each other. It was principally worked in browns, blues, and greens, with a touch of shades of pink and red.
It is in excellent condition considering its age of about 150 years. It has escaped the usual ravages of time. However, the lighter colors have faded somewhat. The rich cobalt blues, reds, blacks, browns and terracotta shades have held their colors best.
It is housed in a wide stained wooden frame with a gilded slip. These are not original to the piece, but their style and color suit the piece very well. The quality of the frame is just beautiful. Although fairly modern, it resembles the type of frame that would have originally been used for it.
This is a very large and beautiful piece of Victorian pettipoint, deserving of a well-seen place in your home.
It measures 25-3/8 inches wide by 30-3/4 inches high.
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