Here is a wonderful fragment of early 18th century emboidery on silk. I found it a while ago in an antiques mall in a cabinet along with some mediocre pieces of Chinese embroidery. This piece both puzzled and amazed me, I hadn't seen anything like it before, so couyldn't resist it despite the fact that the silk had split in a few places.
It is heavily embroidered with the most bizarre, enormous ribbon-like gold thread work motifs and dainty silk flowers in jewel bright colours, I don't have much technical knowledge of embroidery techniques, but there is a lot of couched work and basket-woven work of great beauty. I began to get a feel for the embroidery after looking at it occaissionaly over a few months, and started to conclude from reference books and a helpful email to an experienced collector (thanks Rachael) that it is quite an early piece, possibly from an apron, table covering or altar furnishing, dating to about 1700-1730 when such bizarre pattens were in fashion. The last 2 photos show a vaguely similar piece of embroidery and its caption in the V&A collection from their book 'Embroidery in Britain from 1200-1750' by D King & S. Levey.
I am an obsessive textile addict, funding my 'habit' by unwillingly selling some of the beautiful antique and vintage textiles that I come across. As well as private sales, you can find me on ebay under the name vanye90, or see my ebay shop, Morgaine Le Fay Antique Textiles. A web site may be on the cards soon...
I sell mostly French textiles, but also come across English and European pieces from time to time. I enjoy ferreting out all sorts of interesting items, for example, 19th century French cottons & linens, huge chateau curtains, 18th century silks and embroideries, 16th and 17th century lace (occaisionally, when I can bear to part with them), fine linens, haberdashery as well as unused and pre-used antique and vintage fabrics such as florals, tickings, hemp runners, silks etc for projects such as cushions or pillows, framing, drapes, whatever your imagination can think of!
My new blog, Interesting Antique Textiles will discuss some of my more obscure, strange and often quite damaged textile finds with the hope that people may want to join in the discussions, and make some suggestions about the pieces based on their own experiences and textile knowledge!