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Victorian Fashion embroidery design

Victorian Fashion 03

The work is generally in coloured silks, with a
few illustrations of cut and drawn work in
linen thread. Specimens of lettering are
added, as a rule, with perhaps the name of
the worker and the date of the production.

Many of the cut-work patterns resemble
Italian work of the time, giving rise to the
conjecture that some of the ruffs and falling
bands worn in this country may have been
the work of English needlewomen.

Raised work is not altogether wanting in
samplers, but it is usually employed in a
restrained manner. The sampler above men-
tioned, bearing the date 1643, is reproduced
in Plate 52. It illustrates both the floral
embroidery in silks, and the geometrical
openwork in white linen threads. Some-
times the sampler is devoted entirely to the
latter class of work. The name " Margreet
May," with the date 1654, occurs on one such
piece.* In another sampler, f dated 1666,
coloured silks alone are used

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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.