The original item from Perry-Joyce Fine Arts is now SOLD.
This is a delightful and rare subject matter for Victorian woolwork embroidery. In fact, in the 35 years I have specialized in Victorian Berlin woolwork pieces, I have never before come across this pattern.
The little boy is playing a flute in an attempt to lead three chickens in a march. The woolwork is done in traditional counted cross stitch on a linen ground. The roosters were done in bright colors as well as brown and black. There is a large white hen perched on a fence, picked out in white and brown wool with a small bit of red. There are several chicks in the foreground pecking at the ground.
Our child is dressed in a belted red costume with blue short pants and white socks. The entire background has been filled in with a cream silk floss that has a lovely soft sheen. This type of background work has allowed the woolwork of the figure, garden and chickens to stand out more prominently. This technique was not often utilized in Victorian woolwork embroideries.
One of the wonderful attributes of this piece is the outstanding color retention of the wool yarns. There seems to be little or no fading.
The condition of the woolwork itself is extraordinary. There are a few very minor losses of stitches in the stitching of the garden floor, but this is minimal. There is one minute hole in the cream wool of the garden as well.
This piece is framed in its original bird’s eye maple veneer frame with a nice molded and gilded slip. The frame’s condition is superb and has acquired a beautiful deep, red-brown color and a glowing patina. This piece retains its original bubbled and wavy Victorian glass.
With its delightful and rare subject matter, unbelievable color retention, colorful pattern worked in soft wool yarn, unusual background of cream silk floss, and its wonderful period frame, this piece should be a must-have for every collector of Victorian woolwork embroidery.
It measures 22-1/2 inches wide by 24-1/4 inches high, including the frame.
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Victorian 19th Century Rare Woolwork of Child with Chickens
Sample of Recently Sold Items on Ruby Lane
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