This is an astonishing monastery work embellished with fine embroidery, delicate paperolle art, hand sewn metallic beading and hand colored lithograph medallion. It originates from France and dates circa 1780.
Every centimeter of the frame window is filled with elegant hand work. There is a background frame of embroidery which was done with many, many long strokes; imparting a rich, raised texture to each flower. Each flower has a center of tiny French knots. The colors of the silk embroidery threads are muted: pale butter, butterscotch, straw, creme, forest green and sage green. Filling the empty fields between the flowers are hand sewn beads which are made of bits of fine coiling wire. Tiny gilded metal bead have been strung and hand sewn in a looping fashion around the coiled beads.
Beginning with the outside of the central medallion; there is a 1/4" frame of looped gilded wire, 1/8" metallic braid and 1/4" gilt metallic interwoven coils. The paperolle field measures 3/4" wide. There are two figural hearts at the top and bottom with arabesques filling the entire field surrounding the lithograph. You can see the color of the paperolle pieces clearly and the vermillion red and deep green are striking against the gilt paper edging. The central lithograph has been carefully hand colored in vermillion and green with the beautiful halo embellished with gilt. The entire design is placed under glass.
The wooden frame is original eighteenth century. You can see bits of plaster and the red undercoat where the patina has worn with age. The back is covered with eighteenth century book paper (endpapers of old books, as is typical. These monastery art works were fashioned from clothing, books, and unwanted bits which were donated to the monastery by noble ladies. There is a 19th century metal ring and mount at the center back.
It is in very good antique condition: There is chipping and wear to the frame, some missing paper at the back, the glass shows no chips or cracks, the embroidery, bead work, paperolle work and color lithograph retain their original coloring and situation in the design. The lithograph has curled forward a bit on the edges; typical with temperature changes from hot to cold. It measures: (with frame, 9 1/2" x 8", 3/4" thick. The glass/design area measures: 6 3/4" c 5 1/2".
It is an astonishing monastery work which would have taken untold hours to complete. It is a ravishing example which has survived the passage of time relatively untouched.