Early 19th century silkwork pictures would often echo the activities of rural life, however idealized. In this particularly charming Georgian silkwork, the little girl is petting her small sheep (or is it a large lamb?). She is kneeling beneath a large tree with a bunch of pink flowers blooming at its base. To the left is the farmhouse, with tall trees and shrubs in the background.
She is dressed in a blue dress worked in long and short stitches in pretty shades of blue silk floss. There is a white ribbon belt tied in a big bow in the back. On her head is a small brimmed black hat with a ribbon around it culminating in a bow under her chin.
The irresistible sheep was worked in wool in large French knots, mimicking fleece. The head and legs were done in wool in long and short stitch. The foreground is also worked in long and short stitches in browns and greens that were made to resemble fields and her garden. The large tree is shaded well with colors of rust, gray and gold done in silk floss, as well as a small bit of silk chenille yarn. There is some shrubbery in the background worked in French knots in shades of green.
The girl’s face and hands were painted in watercolor for greater detail as was the style of the day. The plain silk background was left alone to represent the sky.
The whole silk embroidery is housed in its original gesso and wood molded frame. The slip is a narrow piece of black painted wood that keeps the raised embroidery off the glass. The gold leaf of the frame has acquired a pretty and soft color and patina.
The silkwork is in excellent condition, showing no signs of insect damage, foxing or splitting. It was certainly a treasured, well-cared for piece of embroidery. The frame, too, is in excellent condition. There seems to be some slight, older restoration toward one edge; otherwise, the finish is original.
This piece is one of a pair, the other listed as: PJR-916.
It measures 10-1/8 inches wide by 8 inches high, including the frame.
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