Basket of Flowers

Basket of Flowers

with Butterflies and Sheep,
Delaware or Philadelphia, circa 1810

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sight size: 18" x 20" • framed size: 23¼” x 25¼” • sold

American schoolgirls in the Federal period worked stunning silk embroidered pictures that would hang in the stylishly decorated parlours of their parents’ homes. Often large in scale and always indicating the advanced talents of their makers, these pictures occasionally capture the essence of American folk art with their sense of whimsy and free-form design. Such is the case with this exuberant silk embroidered picture with its latticework basket of flowers sitting on a hill of plants, berries and miniature sheep. The three-sided border is formed of a tendrilled grapevine with bunches of fat grapes and spectacular leaves.

This silk embroidery descended in a prominent Delaware family and was quite clearly worked at the same school as the fine example published as plate XII in A Winterthur Guide to American Needlework written by Susan Burrows Swan and published in 1976. The Winterthur piece is attributed to either Odessa, Delaware or Philadelphia, circa 1800-1820.

Worked in silk on silk, it is in excellent condition and is in its outstanding original gold leaf frame with carved rope and balls. The reverse painted glass mat is an excellent quality replacement.

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