This is the finest stitching in a needlepoint embroidered tapestry we've ever seen. Those stitches on the faces of the figures are less than 1mm each, and even the larger stitches on the panel are smaller than petitpoint items done today. The work you see is one panel of a pair we bought recently out of France, (each sold separately), and represents, we think, Mary praying at the tomb of Jesus. The detail and rich colors in silk and wool yarns is remarkable - dating mid-1600s to perhaps early 1700s, it is one of the earliest needlework items we've offered that is complete, undamaged and ready to frame and hang. No, you wouldn't want to turn this one into pillowtops, I think it would be too fragile for that, but it's superb on the stretchers we've found it on and will be a favorite of anyone who collects needle arts, women's art, certainly for its age and fine composition and delivery. I can't begin to imagine how long this would have taken to complete but I can tell you it could well be a life's work in this and its companion panel (sold separately). We've scanned the panel with a ruler so you can see how tiny the stitches really are. Remarkable in so many ways, not the least of which is that it is complete and without rips, tears or restoration. Fabulous!
Very good to excellent condition for age and type. The panel was worked in last half of 1600s, we're quite certain, and this based on a scrap of similar work we have dated from that period as well as reference books. Smaller than petitpoint, the single stitch embroidery would have taken years to complete. There are no tears, no holes, only the very slightest loss to any of the wool and silk threads used - remarkable museum quality handiwork, needle arts, needlework without equal. Ready to frame, the panels are already perfectly stretched on board backing to help protect from damage. They are not glued, just stretcher-attached, tacked around the outer perimeter. Magnificent. One panel sold in this offering. Another from same embroiderer is offered separately.
Antique French sterling silver, Georgian jewelry, sewing, Black Forest, etc 17th to 19th c. European
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