Late 19th century Ottoman Empire embroidered linen with silver metal thread, colored cottons and beaded decoration. The end is finished in a crocheted border consisting of a leaf motif further adorned with metal beads. This elaborate and lavishly embroidered piece originates from Serbia, and dates back to the era of Ottoman-rule. Originally a sleeve from a women’s folk costume, and no doubt intended as a dress to be worn for a special occasion, the amount of densely embroidered detail is nothing short of astonishing.
The reverse side is a good indicator of how brightly colored and shiny the embroidery once was: There are greens, blues, pinks and reds, interspersed in between the silver thread that is now largely oxidized. Metal beads were added to the embroidery along with colored beaded tassels, of which only two remain at the back -the tufts of thread visible at the bottom of the sleeve marks where the rest of the beaded tassels were. The textile is home-spun.
PLEASE NOTE: This is a beautiful piece, and an example of hand-embroidery produced by a highly-skilled hand at the craft. Condition is fair, but someone had decided that it was worth saving, and it is essentially a beautiful representation of Ottoman-influenced embroidery from the Balkan Region. The facing side has yellowed and is most apparent along the fold lines, as shown. In addition to this, there is a piece of unembroidered linen torn from the textile, also as shown. Other minor issues include missing beads, and wear to the crocheted fringe. The embroidery itself is intact – just missing beadwork!
Size: 12 ½” x 18 ½”.