Needlework Picture on Laid Paper, New England, circa 1820

Needlework Picture on Laid Paper, New England, circa 1820

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sight size: 6¾” x 8½” • framed size: 8¾” x 10¾” • sold

Occasionally needleworkers in the late 18th and early 19th centuries stitched pictures onto paper and we are delighted to offer this fine example. Paper is an unforgiving ground as it allows for no missteps – a hole made by the needle must be incorporated into the picture. This needlework picture was accomplished on laid paper which can be identified by its ribbed texture. This surface comes from the manufacturing process and it was in use until the early 19th century when it was largely supplanted by wove paper.

The subject of this scene is absolutely delightful. A young lady is depicted reaching out to a bird perched on a low berry tree. Another bird soars above and yet a third watches from the same low tree. The large tree to the right with its oversized grape bunches, one of which has fallen and is delicately balanced on the lawn below, adds a fine note of whimsy to the scene. Details such as the young lady’s face, feathered headdress and sashed gown add to the appeal of this picture. The lustrous crinkled silk, found on samplers and silk embroideries made in the period, contributes to the aesthetics as well.

This was worked in silk on laid paper and is in excellent condition in its fine, original painted frame.


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