Tobit Table Carpet

The Tobit Table cover, c. 1579. The Tobit Table cover, c. 1579.

The Tobit Table Carpet is a sixteenth century table carpet (table cover) apparently made in 1579 by Elizabeth Talbot, Countess of Shrewsbury (1521-1608; also known as Bess of Hardwick). She was an accomplished needlewoman who produced many embroideries.

Basically it is a linen tablecloth that was decorated with elaborate needlework in coloured floss silk. At its centre are the coat of arms of Bess of Hardwick entwined with the initials of the houses of Cavendish, Shrewsbury and Talbot. The table carpet was intended to celebrate her wealth and status. The Tobit Table Carpet and other examples of Bess of Hardwick’s embroidery are housed in Hardwick Hall (Chesterfield, England).

Source: LEVEY, Santina M. (1998). An Elizabethan Inheritance: The Hardwick Hall Textiles, London: The National Trust.

Digital source of illustration (retrieved 22 June 2016).


Last modified on Wednesday, 15 March 2017 14:40
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