Furnishings

Furnishings

A magistrate's cushion (62 x 62 cm) with an embroidered coat of arms of West Friesland, in the northern part of the province of Noord-Holland, The Netherlands, is housed in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. It was made in West Friesland in 1767. It is made of wool with silk thread embroidery.

In the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, there is an embroidered formal chair that dates to the eighteenth century and was made and used in France. It was manufactured by the famous craftsman, Georges Jacob (1739-1814), and the chair's embroideries were made, so it would appear, by Joseph-François-Xavier Baudoin (1739-c. 1786).

In the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum (London), there is an embroidered three-panelled screen made by Morris & Co (acc. no. CIRC.848-1956). The panels (from left to right) include the 'Parrot Tulip', 'Large Horned Poppy' and 'Anemone' designs. The designs date from the mid-1880's, but it would appear that the wooden screen frame is later in date.

The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam houses a nineteenth century quilt from India, made of cotton and embroidered with floral motifs, worked with a hook (ari) and chain stitch, using silk thread, and filled with cotton. The cloth measures 69.5 x 61.5 cm. The collection of the Rijksmuseum houses a series of comparable quilts.

The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam houses a long length of embroidered wall covering. Its ground material is made of green silk, and the decoration includes applied flower stems, which are embroidered with silk, silver and gold thread. The embroidered decoration includes two applied coats of arms of prelates, made of silk and velvet. Both of them are covered with a red hat (for a cardinal) and tassels.

The British Museum in London houses a floor cover that was acquired in Afghanistan in the mid-nineteenth century.  It measures 635 x 93.5 cm and is made of cotton with silk thread embroidery worked in chain stitch with an ari hook. The floral motifs include the buteh or paisley motif, well-known from Kashmir weaves and embroideries.

A gabha floor covering has a ground material made out of shaped woollen pieces that are sewn together (a form of patchwork). Gabhas derive from Kashmir in the northwest of the Indian subcontinent, and their use may be compared to that of the felt namdhas, also from Kashmir. Gabhas are often strengthened with a cotton lining.

The Nederlands Openluchtmuseum in Arnhem, Gelderland, the Netherlands, houses an embroidered hearth screen, somewhat in Biedermeier-style, which was used in the summer to hide the place where during the winter the hearth would be lit. The screen was made on the occasion of the marriage between Dirk Bezemer (1867-1938) and Dirkje Nolman (1869-1938) on 5 August 1891 in Delft, the Netherlands.

The Textile Research Centre (TRC), Leiden, houses an embroidered cushion cover from Hungary, which dates to the late twentieth century. It measures 48 x 41 cm. It is made from linen with cotton embroidery threads.

The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam holds a piece of cloth, originally perhaps intended as a bed spread but later used as upholstery for a chair, which is in fact a beautiful piece of chintz (sits in Dutch), perhaps originating from India, dating to c. 1700. Made of cotton with silk thread (ari-) embroidery, it measures 56 x 51 cm. It is decorated with scrolls and floral motifs.

The Victoria and Albert Museum in London, UK, houses a late nineteenth century kalaga from Myanmar (Burma). It measures 293.5 x 124.5 cm and has a ground material made of wool. It has an appliqué decoration made of cotton, wool, and felt, embroidered, and further decorated with braids and sequins, and with some painting.

This cushion shows King Charles II and his wife, Queen Catherine of Braganza, together with allegories of the four continents (Africa, America, Asia and Europe). The cushion, now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, measures 20.3 x 80 x 68.6 cm. It was made after AD 1662, and embroidered in silk on a silk background, with beading.

The term lace runner can be used in different ways. It was, for example, a nineteenth century English term for a person who hand embroidered lengths of machine net with darning stitches or running stitches. The term can also be used for strips of net or cloth, such as linen decorated with lace or embroidery of some kind. These were intended to run down, for instance, a table centre. Sometimes these strips are mistaken for stoles.

The Victoria and Albert Museum in London holds a large, embroidered cover or hanging (125 x 79 cm) decorated in the suzani tradition. It dates to the second half of the nineteenth century and is said to originate from Bukhara in modern Uzbekistan. The cover is made of seven linen strips that have been sewn together, whereby the embroidered motifs do no always match well together.

The Lal Dera ('Red Tent') or the Shahi Lal Dera ('Royal Red Tent) is housed at the fort of Mehrangarh, in Rajasthan, India. It is believed to have been used by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan (1592-1666), who is known for commissioning the construction of the Taj Mahal mausoleum at Agra, or by his successor, Aurangzeb (r. 1658-1707). The origin of the tent, however, is still disputed, and it may have been produced locally.

An embroidered Mughal wall hanging or curtain (or prayer mat?), measuring 117 x 81.25 cm, now housed in the Victoria and Albert Museum (acc. no. IS 168-1950), is a beautiful example of Mughal period art from India.

A namdha is a felt floor covering made of wool (or a mixture with another material, such as cotton, to produce a white background), primarily produced in Kashmir, in the northwest of the Indian subcontinent. The name was originally applied to felt mats with incorporated designs, but the term is now also used for coverings with chain stitched embroidery, worked with the ari hook.

A needlework mirror with folding shutters was auctioned at Bonhams, London, in 2011. It dates to around 1660, was made in England and measures 38 x 35 cm. It is set in a tortoise shell and ebonised frame. The ground material is made of silk. The embroidery is worked in coloured silks and metal thread, using needlelace and other forms of needlework.

The Owl Panel, now in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, is an embroidered wall hanging worked in silk on a green silk damask ground material, with a cotton lining. The panel dates to the late nineteenth century. The design, officially called 'The Owl', was created by John Henry Dearle (1860-1932) around 1895. The design was sold in the form of a kit by Morris & Co. This particular example was stitched by Mrs. Battye c. 1900.

The Oxburgh hangings are several long lengths of green velvet, which were made into a wall hanging, two bed curtains and a valance. They include the so-called Shrewsbury Hanging and the Cavendish Hanging. They are decorated with over one hundred applied panels called slips, which are decorated with counted thread embroidery. In addition there are 33 loose slips.

Page 2 of 4