Plate No. 27.
Linen pillow-case. English, sixteenth century. The property of the Right Hon. the Viscount Falkland. The design, consisting of vine-leaves and fruit, is well balanced. Each leaf is filled with a dainty little diaper, geometric in character. The centre portion of the design appears to have formed part of a larger scheme of decoration, and the manner in which it is cut by the border is not satisfactory. The embroidery is executed entirely in black silk on a very fine white linen ground. The stitches used are button-hole, square chain, very closely worked; the outline is in ordinary chain; and a variety of filling-in stitches (darnings) are employed for the diapers of the leaves. When a design of this character is chosen, to be worked in one or two colours, a number of fancy stitches can be employed without spoiling the unity of effect; but if a larger assortment of colours are introduced, then it is better not to use so many different kinds of stitches.
Plate No. 28.
Embroidery from a linen jacket. English, sixteenth century. This detail of embroidery on linen with coloured silks has an all-over pattern of continuous scrolling stems, bearing a variety of leaves, flowers, and fruit devices somewhat naturalistic in drawing. In this illustration honeysuckle and rose flowers and leaves are shown. Strawberries, sweet peas, oak leaves, and acorns appear in other parts of the design. The scrolls and stems are executed in chain stitch; the leaves and blossoms are mostly worked on linen separately in needlepoint lace stitches and applied to the linen ground of the jacket.
Plate No. 28.
Embroidery from a Linen Jacket. English, 16th Century.
Corner of a Linen Coverlet. Embroidered with Coloured Threads. Swiss, dated 1580 [851 - 1844].
Plate No. 29.
Corner of a linen coverlet. Embroidered with coloured threads. Swiss, dated 1580 [851 - 1884]. In the design of the complete coverlet five ladies representing the Senses are shown; each figure is accompanied by an explanatory attribute. There is "Visus" at one corner, with a mirror, and an eagle beside her; at another "Auditus," playing a lute, has beside her a boar which she is enchanting with her music ; in the centre is "Tactus," with a parrot, which pecks at her finger ; in the third corner " Gustus," with a plate of cakes and a monkey, is represented; and lastly, the subject of this illustration, "Olfactus," smelling a flower, with a dog sleeping beside her. The figures are pleasantly seated among foliated and floral branches. They are rather coarsely worked in linen threads - chiefly white - on a soft pink linen ground. A tawny-coloured thread is employed for the outline, except for parts of the ladies' dresses, which have a blue line. All the fillings consist of open diaper patterns.
Embroidered pillow-case, from the neighbourhood of Trieste. The property of Mrs. Pesel. Pillow-cases of this kind were, at one time, in general use in most of the peasants' cottages. They are worked in black worsted in cross stitch on white linen. In the Victoria and Albert Museum there are examples which came from Abruzzi, worked in black silk, very similar in effect to the one here illustrated.
Severe and simple designs lend themselves to this method of stitching, and anything of a naturalistic character should not be attempted in cross stitch. It is the simplest and one of the most ancient stitches. Producing as it does an angular outline, cross-stitch pattern is always very distinctive; moreover, it is modest and naive in its aims, forming as it does the basis of the simplest peasant embroidery of all times.
In Ruthenian embroidery we find very charming narrow cross-stitch borders worked in pronounced red and blue worsteds. These borders make the most satisfactory kind of. decoration for the edging of costumes, collar bands, and cuff trimmings. They are well proportioned and built up on modest lines, with just enough art to make them interesting. Time should not be wasted in producing in cross stitch Greek frets and key patterns arranged as all-over decoration. Such design in embroidery can at best only satisfy the mechanical mind.
Plate No. 30.
Embroidered Pillow-case, from the Neighbourhood of Trieste.
Plate No. 31.
Several simple zigzag borders are given. The first three are of the Ruthenian type. If worked the same size as the illustrations, back stitch might be used; if larger, they are very effective in cross stitch. The two lower borders shown on this plate are from Italian examples.
Plate No. 32.
Cross-stitch border. Embroidered on linen in red silk. Italian, sixteenth century [863 - 1897]. The pattern of leaves and flowers springing from interlacing stems, repeats from A (turns over). It is slightly smaller in the reproduction than in the original, but it could be worked this size.
Borders for Edging of Costumes.
Cross-stitch Border embroidered on Linen in Red Silk. Italian, 16th Century [863 - 1897].
Plate No. 33.
Corner of a Linen Coverlet. Portuguese, Second Half 16th Century
[326 - 1898].
Plate No. 33.
Corner of a linen coverlet. Portuguese, second half sixteenth century [326 - 1898]. The whole of the embroidery is executed with a very hard and tightly twisted inen cord. The work consists principally of elaborate fancy stitches (many of them are given on Plates No. 62 and 63), which are raised above the ground. The ground is a pale ecru linen, and the cord a darker biscuit shade.