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Antique Early 1800s Needlepoint Tapestry, Petitpoint, Templars & Rebecca, Petitpoint Sampler
"Rebecca enliven par les Templars, 1876" (Rebecca, removed by the Templars). The tiniest stitches ever, as you can see with the ruler we have placed against these stitches, the silk and wool yarns are worked in impossibly tiny one-stitch-at-a-time manner by some early 1800s female, most likely a young girl. This subject and panel are probably English, though I bought this panel in France. The "art" of it is similar to that of Messonier, the leading artist in small realist paintings, early 1800s France, and reminds me of his work. The elegant running horses, the action and story-rich subject are all from that period in art history, roughly referred to as the "Orientalists". Amazing to see this work in stitches. Imagine the time it would have taken to work this one tiny stitch at a time. The panel is in remarkably fine condition and is stretched and ready to frame. I like these just displayed sans frame, too, leaning a bit on a display shelf, for example, or even on a dresser top. They're as much object as wall art, I think. I am always drawn to the needle arts - woman's work. Woman's art. Remember, women were not readily allowed into the popular fine arts such as painting and sculpture, and yet needle arts were taught from a very young age. It is one of the subjects that were part of a girl's education, usually along with piano, singing, perhaps cooking and comportment. Not necessarily reading or writing in the early 1800s, though. We have, indeed, come a long long way.
The subject of this panel is an interesting one. It tells the story of Rebecca in the burning tower, and of the Templars. This is, interestingly, a subject used in the video game "Assassin's Creed", apparently. The old story is 1100-1250 during the Crusades, of course.
Very good to excellent panel condition, for age and type. It as no rips, no holes, no moth damage to the wool and silk yarns, and no tears or deteriorations. It is currently without frame, but obviously was protected under glass in a frame for 200 years or so. We will allow our buyer to determine their choice in how to frame or display it. You can see from the view of backside, the colors have held quite well, a bit of fading to some. A lovely old panel of tiniest stitches ever - and measurements are noted on images, but it is 25.5" x 19.5" and about .75" deep on that wooden stretcher it's mounted on.
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San Marcos, CA
Antique French sterling silver, Georgian jewelry, sewing, Black Forest, etc 17th to 19th c. European
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