A rare surviving set of very skilfully made silk and metal passementarie tassels with wooden cores that date from the 18th century. Most likely Italian (Florence, or Venice) in origin these rare trimmings would have been a luxury addition to a bed canopy or soft furnishings in the 1750 to 1770 period.

See a very similar 17th century example at The Met Museum, Accession Number: 36.90.2018

We see two identical tassels and one short tassel of slightly differing design. Very unusually their is hand painted embellishment. The blue is hand painted over gold. Perhaps blue silk was unavailable, or very expensive??

They are so very decorative with many ornate additions to their design. We see top flower roundel that contains a central silk wrapped button in an almost Death's Head design (popular at this period for male waistcoats). Around the outside of the button are painted silk floss wrapped wire (flat plate) petals. Cream silk twist fringing radiates from the button which is interspersed with three painted blue caterpillar droppers and three long cream painted caterpillar drops with silk wrapped wire flowers, again with painted decoration in places. From each top roundel dangle two fancy plaited braid chains of the most gorgeous cream silk gimp. At the base of each chain is an equally decorative end tassel. Each tassel has a wooden core, wrapped in cream silk floss with an over silk net ground, silk looped fringe skirt with matching blue painted metal caterpillars dangles.

These would make a fine addition to a special project.

Size: 2 x 9 inch long (23 cm approx), 1 shorter tassel at approx 3 inch (8 cm)

Condition: Strong and usable. Some bending of the wire petals.

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Blue, Cream

Trinity Antiques

Antique 18th Century Passementerie Tassels x 3, Silk Gimp and Metal, Cream and Blue, Florentine C 1760,


    Unique, quality antiques direct from The Cotswolds, England for sustainable home interiors.
    Curated with love. Celebrating 11 wonderful years on Ruby Lane and Platinum shop status.


    since 2011

    Est. Tax:We are unable to obtain a tax quote at this time.
    Shipping to: USA