Furnishings

Furnishings

A palampore is type of bed cover or wall hanging that was made in India for the export market, especially Britain and The Netherlands, during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art houses a palampore from late seventeenth or early eighteenth century India, embroidered with a motif of a flowering tree (as with all traditional palampores). It measures 328 x 264 cm. It is made of cotton with silk thread embroidery worked with a chain stitch.

A fine example of Leek embroidery is held in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Leek embroidery, promoted by the Leek Embroidery Society, which was founded in 1879/1880 by Elizabeth Wardle, is characterised by embroidery being worked over a printed ground material.

The Pigeon wall hanging is an embroidered hanging now in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. It was designed by John Henry Dearle (1860-1932) for the company of Morris & Co., London. It was probably embroidered from a kit in c. 1898-1900 by Mrs. Battye.

An embroidered pillow end from Korea, dating to the late nineteenth century, is housed in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. It is made of wool embroidered with silk and metal threads. These embroidered ends were sewn onto each end of a soft cylindrical pillow, the embroidery providing stiffness and volume.

A portière is a curtain hung over a door or doorway to prevent draughts. It was often made of a heavy material and decorated with a woven or embroidered design. Unlike curtains, portières were usually sold and used singularly. According to the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary the use of this French word in English only seems to date from the mid-nineteenth century.

The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, Ohio, houses a Qajar-era (nineteenth century) covering from Iran, with silk thread embroidery in running stitch and surface darning, worked on a cotton ground material. It measures 101 x 102 cm. The embroidery shows a range of geometric motifs.


The Cleveland Museum online catalogue (retrieved 3rd September 2017).

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The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, Ohio, houses a Qajar-era (nineteenth century) floor covering from Iran, with silk thread embroidery on a cotton ground material. It measures 175 x 118 cm. The embroidery shows a large stylised representation of a lion in the centre, surrounded by various repeated hunting scenes, including a horseman with a bird of prey, a lion attacking a bull, and nightingales.

The Victoria and Albert Museum in London houses a fragment of a tent panel from Qajar-period Iran. It is decorated partly in the typical Rasht-style (Rashti-duzi), named after an Iranian town north of the Elburz mountains close to the Caspian Sea. The panel is made of felted wool, embroidered with silk and metal thread and inlay patchwork (the latter being typical for Rasht work).

The Cleveland Museum of Art in Cleveland, Ohio, holds in its collection a ceremonial tent that is inscribed with the name of Muhammad Shah, the Qajar dynasty ruler of Iran between 1834 and 1848. The tent measures 360 x 400 cm, and the side panels reach to a height of 165 cm.

The Victoria and Albert Museum in London houses a valance (bed hanging) that dates back to the early eighteenth century. It is made of cream linen and is decorated with silk thread embroidery. The valance measures 103 x 41 cm. The embroidery is worked with pulled thread work and cross stitch.

Sailor's woolworks is a general term for decorative needlework pictures that in most cases show a specific ship or a generalised (sailing) ship. They have the nickname 'woolies'. Some of the sailor's woolworks are embroidered, others are made from appliqué cloth. Seamen produced such pictures from about the 1830's until the First World War (1914-1918).

The Victoria and Albert Museum in London houses a screen panel from Korea that dates to the nineteenth century. It is made of silk, with silk thread embroidery. The screen measures 59.2 x 32.2 cm. It forms part of a set of four. The decoration is formed by columns of flower arrangements, interspersed with Chinese characters, expressing long life and happiness.

A beautifully embroidered settee dating to the end of the seventeenth century is housed in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. The settee's upholstery is decorated with floral motifs worked with cross stitch canvas embroidery in wool on a silk background. The settee itself, measuring 137.8 x 157.5 x 95 cm, is made of walnut and beech. The cushions are lined with kidskin.

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art houses a large suzani hanging or curtain from the third quarter of the nineteenth century. It measures 211 x 173 cm. It is made of a linen ground material with silk and wool thread embroidery.

A table carpet may be a thick, decorative textile placed over a table. Although called a carpet, it needs neither to be made with a pile nor placed on the floor. Such ‘carpets’ were removed or covered with a linen cloth when the table was in use. This type of table covering was popular in Europe from at least the fifteenth century onwards.

A table cloth is a textile of some form used to cover a table. Some cloths are designed to be spread on a table before placing the cutlery, glasses, food and so forth. Other cloths are ornamental in nature, with a secondary function of helping to protect the table from scratches and stains.

A table cover is a textile of some kind that covers all or part of the top of a table. It can take the form of, for example, a table carpet, table cloth or table runner

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art houses a table frontal from China, which dates to the early nineteenth century. It measures 83.2 x 95.3 cm. It is made of silk satin with silk and metal thread embroidery and bast fibre lining.

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