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Floral embroidery Corner

Floral Corner 05

The characteristic patterns of Elizabethan
work survive her reign, but they gradually
degenerate into a stiffness and sameness
which at last finds expression in some of
the ugliest and most trivial work that ever
occupied the needle. We are obliged to take
the grotesque stump work, so popular in
its day, as the general expression of taste
among needlewomen of the seventeenth
century. It is a relief to turn from these to
the samplers which first found favour at this
period, and prove that better taste was not
altogether wanting. Many of the latter are
of excellent design and evince considerable
technical skill. Designs on a larger scale,
for curtains, hangings, etc., are sometimes
boldly drawn, and effective when put to their
proper use.


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Both sides are
broken up into small panels with a curious
combination of devices. On one side may
be seen a lady wearing a ruff, a mermaid, and
a man surrounded by stags and rabbits. On
the other are lions, unicorns, a rose, a crown
and the letters I R (Jacobus Rex). There are
also clasped hands, fleurs-de-lys, honeysuckle,
pansies, acorns, strawberries and interlacing
and geometrical patterns, on embroidered
grounds of different colours.

A piece of work in the Maidstone Museum
belongs to the beginning of the century. It
is evidently intended to illustrate the progress
of the Reformation in England. King
Henry VIII. is seated in the middle with his
foot on the prostrate figure of a friar. On
his right stands his son and successor
Edward VI., crowned and holding a sceptre
in his right hand and a Bible in his left.
Beyond is Queen Mary holding a rosary, with
a dragon at her feet.

Clint Eastwood sketch

" Black work," or " Spanish work,"
a style of embroidery said to
have been introduced by Cathe-
rine of Aragon, 70 ; very popular
during the reign of Queen Eliza,
beth, 71, 73 ; jacket or tunic of,
given to Viscountess Falkland by
William IV., Plate xxxv, 70, 78,
79 ; pillow-cover in the posses-
sion of Viscount Falkland, Plate
xxxvii, 74, 79 ; sleeves for a tunic,
Plate xxxviii, 76, 79 ; coverlet
belonging to Viscount Falkland,
79; a portrait of the Earl of
Surrey at Hampton Court, illus-
trating, 80 ; specimens anterior
to Henry VIII. period in several
private collections, ib. \ caps and
head-dresses, ib.