This article was published posthumously and includes a list of the author’s publications.
The writers discuss two English state beds, the Belvoir State Bed at Belvoir Castle, Lincolnshire, and the Drayton State Bed at Drayton House, Northhamptonshire. The first was commissioned from the talented French upholsterer, Francis Lapiere, by John Manners, 9th Earl of Rutland, in 1696. The second bed dates from 1700-02, and its frame is attributed to the French upholsterer Etienne Penson, who later anglicized his name to Stephen. Its superb embroidered hangings are the work of Elizabeth Vickson and Rebekah Dufee. From the relevant documentation, the writers examine the creation and history of the beds in detail.
Discussion of the construction and embroidery of women’s sleeveless bodices of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century. Some of the embroidery is of English origin, but some appears to be of Indian or Chinese design.
Part of a special section on King William III’s apartments at Hampton Court Palace, England. The writer proposes that it is possible to reconstruct the original tapestry hanging scheme of 1699 at Hampton Court. He notes that circumstantial evidence from contemporary wardrobe accounts and descriptions from later sources indicate that the State Apartments were hung with tapestries from the Abraham and Joshua series, originally purchased by Henry VIII, which are two of the most valuable sets in the royal collection.
The school of Raphael tapestries in the collection of Henry VIII are discussed. In addition to the 1547 inventory of Henry VIII’s possessions, which included the Acts of the Apostles tapestry set, a number of shorter and earlier inventories also survive. One of these, dated 1542, lists two of the Acts of the Apostles as well as two of the Antiques, another tapestry set. These Antiques can be identified with a seven-piece set of the same name that was moved from Westminster to the Tower Wardrobe some months after the death of Henry VIII in 1547. The quality of the Acts of the Apostles and a Brussels mark in the lower selvage of one of the Antiques suggests that both sets were woven in Brussels; the mark has been attributed to the workshop of Guillaume and Jean Dermoyen.
The writer discusses a group of tapestries that hung in the Prince’s Chamber of the House of Lords, the only record of which are drawings and descriptions by the antiquary John Carter. He explains that the set’s true identity is provided by a tapestry fragment sold in 1979, part of which corresponds to Carter’s drawing of the right side of the first of the set and includes the section that he did not see, showing Amulius ordering the infants Romulus and Remus to be abandoned in the wild. Observing that this suggests the other tapestries also showed scenes from the story of Romulus and Remus, he notes that four pieces on this subject were sent from the Removing Wardrobe at Whitehall to the Prince’s Chamber in 1685 and that they had been used in this location on previous occasions. He asserts that this provides a clear link with one of two sets of this subject listed in the royal collection in the 17th century. He goes on to discuss the earlier provenance of the set that can be identified from this association, asserting that the set was Flemish and was sold to Henry VIII in 1529.
New evidence suggests that the ‘double chariot’ Triumphs of Petrarch tapestries at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, derive from a set that was woven in 1520 for Cardinal Wolsey. Evidence for the arrival of the Triumphs series at the Tudor court is provided by documentation relating to Wolsey’s artistic patronage in the early 1520s. Confirmation that he owned two sets of this design is provided by the inventory of his tapestries that was drawn up between late 1521 and early 1523. Furthermore, an adaptation made to the cartoon from which the Victoria and Albert’s Triumph of Fame over Death was woven suggests that there may be grounds for assuming a link between it and the high-quality set of Triumphs listed in Wolsey’s inventory: Two new figures were added in the center of the cartoon for the Triumph of Fame over Death, one portraying Wolsey himself, the other his patron, Henry VIII.
The proceedings of a textile conservation seminar held in 1987 at the Institut Royal du Patrimoine Artistique (IRPA) in Brussels, which cosponsored the seminar with the Getty Conservation Institute (GCI). The 15 papers published in this volume focus on treatment of western European tapestries and ecclesiastical embroideries, mostly from the Renaissance period. Most papers offer recent treatments of important historic textiles as particularized case studies, while some of the papers address broader topics, such as the comprehensive conservation program for textiles at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art.
As symbols of wealth, and easily transported, tapestries and carpets were often displayed, and their use caused damage which was attended to in basically similar ways. Inventories of weaving shops listed departments for the repair of tapestries as early as the 16th century; if in constant use, they tended to be cleaned and repaired every 20 or 30 years. Because of their comparable value to tapestries, carpets were also repaired, rewoven, and reconstructed after they came to be used in Europe as floor coverings as late as the 18th century. Today, the functions these textiles serve determine the course of treatment. In the museum environment, more emphasis is placed on stabilization.
The textile furnishings of Hardwick Hall in Derbyshire, England, particularly those of Bess of Hardwick (1518-1608), are discussed. Hardwick Hall, despite the depredations of time, contains the most significant collection of original 16th-century furnishings in England, and Bess was involved intimately in their acquisition. Particularly important to her were the embroideries and pieces of needlework, of which there were about 100 pieces in 1601, ranging from chair backs, stool covers, and cupboard and table carpets to a bed and set of wall hangings with borders and applied motifs of needlework.
A very rare example of 16th-century footwear was restored in the textile conservation and restoration workshop, Fremantle. Linen embroidered shoes with heels became fashionable in the late 16th century when they replaced slip-on, flat shoes. The embroidery, with flower, fruit and bird motifs typical of the Elizabethan period, was in multi-coloured silks and silver threads. The embroidery stitches are described. Silver sequins had also been used but only four remain on one shoe, none on the other. In 1957 the shoe fabric had been consolidated using cmc with o.1% mercuric chloride added as insecticide/fungicide, but this made the shoes stiff and brittle. After analysis and colour fastness tests the labels were removed by moistening the paper and lifting off. Then the shoes were washed. This removed much dirt and cmc. The leather was consolidated, after humidification, with peg 600. The shoes were padded out with silk/dacron, then placed in a box on shapes carved out of polyurethane foam.
The writer discusses the Enghien tapestries at the neighboring houses of Dyrham Park and Maiden Bradley in England. Enghien refers not to the place of manufacture of the tapestries but their subject matter–the celebrated gardens at Enghien in Belgium. Of the six tapestries at Dyrham and the six at Maiden Bradley, each house has one tapestry that is unique and complete, and it is these that most explicitly display the rich imagery of Enghien garden features. Created between 1630 and 1665, the gardens were a noted attraction for travelers, and their fame was widely disseminated by engraved views; these include 17 sumptuously elaborate plates drawn and engraved by Romeyn de Hooghe and published in 1685. Although the tapestries at Dyrham are not strictly based on De Hooghe’s engravings, they show some of the principal features depicted by him as well as by numerous other engravers. The writer goes on to examine the various features of the gardens as represented in the engravings and the tapestries.
The State Bed from Melville House in Fife, Scotland, is the most spectacular single exhibit in the Victoria and Albert Museum’s new British Galleries. The bed was made for George, 1st Earl of Melville for the Apartment of State at his new palace in approximately 1700. The bed is over 17 feet high and retains its original luxury hangings of crimson Genoa velvet with ivory Chinese silk damask linings embroidered with crimson silk trimmings. It was inspired by the recent history of the Melville family and customized for George and Catherine Melville with their conjoined cipher on the centerboard and in the center of the counterpane. The bed was intended as a personal status symbol, as a gesture of allegiance to the monarch, and as a symbol of the royal favor the Melville family enjoyed. It was preserved as an heirloom by the next generation, and documentary evidence, together with the pristine condition of the bed, would suggest that it has never been slept in. The bed’s style, upholstery, dimensions, costs, and installation are discussed.
In 17th-century England, silk and metal thread embroidery was applied to small domestic items such as caskets and mirror frames. Allegorical and biblical figures often were depicted, as were figures of Charles I and Catherine of Braganza, who reigned from 1660-1685. Based on the frequency with which various designs were repeated from one object to the next, it has been suggested that women purchased silk satin weave fabric with the motifs already drawn or stamped on them and then used silk embroidery floss, beads, stones, and fancy fabrics to complete the design. In order to more fully characterize 17th-century English embroidery materials, a technical analysis of two examples of 17th-century English embroidery was undertaken and is described in this presentation. X-Ray fluorescence spectrometry (XRF), scanning electron microscopy-energy-dispersive spectroscopy (SEM-EDS), Fourier transform-infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) were the analytical techniques used and are detailed here.
Includes diagrams of bedgowns with dimensions.
The writer discusses early-17th-century English embroidered jackets. She focuses on a jacket worn by Margaret Laton for a portrait and now in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, which features an embroidery pattern consisting of a scrolling vine arrayed with flowers, fruit, birds, and insects.
Marcantonio Michiel noted in 1519 that the Acts of the Apostles, after Raphael, were judged to be the finest tapestries of modern times, surpassing the famous tapestries of Pope Julius, the Marquis of Mantua, and the Kings of Naples. The present article reviews briefly what is known of the Naples and Mantua collections and studies more thoroughly the collection of Julius II, in particular two tapestries of the History of S. Gregory and four tapestries of the History of Heliodorus. The author explores the links between the themes of these tapestries and the frescoes painted by Raphael in the Vatican Stanze between 1508 and 1514.
Discusses a mid-eighteenth-century dress acquired by the Museum of London, with particular focus on the design and technique of its embroidery.
Begins with pre-Reformation examples and traces the chronological devlopment of embroidery in Scotland to the late twentieth century. The influences of France, the Netherlands, and England are considered. The author has drawn on evidence from household inventories and sourced many of the embroidery designs.
Although it is well known that the literature on embroidery includes investigations into professional and amateur practice, the interaction between professional pattern drawers for embroidery, professional embroiderers and amateurs of this art remains to be fully examined. To this end, this object lesson examines a group of designs for embroidery in order to provide evidence of the technique for which they were employed; the dates and inscriptions on the designs demonstrate their use as a business archive, while the names of the clients reveal a social network. The final part of this article focuses on trade cards and suggests how the designs illuminate the negotiation between retailer and customer.
Various sources never previously used allow for a fresh interpretation of the Barcheston Tapestry Works and the men behind it. When this tapestry manufactory was established by the will of William Sheldon in Barcheston, England, in 1570, its director was Richard Hyckes, who later heads the list of the workers in the royal repair shop within the Great Wardrobe for the years 1584-88. However, documentary sources demonstrate that Hyckes had already been Queen Elizabeth’s arrasmaker, head of that repair shop, from January 24, 1569. Moreover, contrary to assumptions based on gossip, contemporary independent evidence shows that Hyckes was not English but Flemish because that department was staffed, as it had long been, largely by Flemish workmen. The writer examines the sources available, Hyckes position in the Wardrobe, the early days of the tapestry works, Sheldon’s will, the connections between a number or royal arrasworkers with the tapestry works, and the roles of Hyckes and his son, Francis, as directors of the manufactory.
Part 1 of a two-part study of the life and work of Edmund Harrison, a leading embroiderer of the 17th century, treats Harrison’s life and his position in society. As a royal embroiderer at the courts of both James I and Charles II, Harrison’s career is proof that embroidery in England was far from an amateur pursuit. Part 1 comprises sections on Harrison’s origins and early career; duties as the king’s embroiderer; marriage and family connections; activities during the English Civil War, Interregnum, and Restoration; assets, debts, and bequests; and family and home life. Appendices include a list of items acquired by Harrison from the sale of Charles I’s goods and Harrison’s last will and inventory.
Edmund Harrison (1590-1667), known as the King’s Embroiderer, was a member of the Great Wardrobe, a branch of the King’s civil service. He worked under James I, Charles I, and Charles II, and his responsibilities included procuring materials, designing patterns, and running the embroidery workshops, which not only produced new work, but repaired and restored older work as well. Among the work produced by Harrison was work for the Master of the Robes (the King’s clothes, armorial work, and masque costumes), work for the Great Wardrobe (the stables, bed hangings, cloths of state, barge cloths, heralds’ tabards and liveries, banners and standards, the Order of the Garter, covers for bibles and prayer books, and ecclesiastical embroidery), and work for private patrons (the Corby Castle Pictures and the Sandys of the Vyne Chapel embroideries). Includes twelve appendices of extracts from accounts and other documentary sources.
John Shepley became the King’s Embroiderer in reversion in 1607 and became King’s Embroiderer jointly with Edmund Harrison in 1621 while retaining his position as embroiderer to the Prince of Wales. Charles I made Harrison the King’s Embroiderer in 1625, even though Shepley continued to work for Charles. Shepley’s accounts show records for embroidering such items as a Cloth of State, hangings, velvet coats for watchmen, and garters for the Order of the Garter. The fashionable embroidery for men’s apparel was subtle and usually sewn in the same color as the background fabric. Shepley also embroidered costumes for masques, velvet cabinet coverings, horse harnesses and reins, saddle pads, and complete tilting contest outfits for the prince and his entourage. The bills for the tilting outfits also included charges for candles, glue, paper and ink for drawing patterns, nails for embroidery frames, and wages for 64 embroiderers.
The Worshipful Company of Pewterers of London owns a barge cloth embroidered with the Company’s arms and dated 1662. The bill for it from the embroiderer John Best also survives as part of that for a new barge ordered around the time of the entry into London by river of Charles II’s bride Catherine of Braganza. The embroidery, which is a rare surviving example of applied work in woollen cloth on a wool ground, was the most expensive item in the order apart from the barge itself. The technique is compared with that of some other extant embroideries, while John Best’s work for the Great Wardrobe Accounts is also discussed.
Monochrome and colour plates including some of costume.