Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A Tamboured Garden

When I first spotted this beautiful piece of embroidery...


My heart beat faster and my breathing quickened.  It was love at first sight...


And all that was certain was that I wanted to know more.  Unfolding the textile, I could see that the work did not disappoint.  It's stunning...



An antique, circular table topper...



Embroidered on a net ground using a Luneville or Beauvais hook.  The hook makes tiny chain stitches, also referred to as Point de Beauvais...


This embroidery style came to France via Italy and originated in China.  You can read more about this embroidery style here and read of the Point de Beauvais museum located in Bourg-le-Roi near Normandy.  I hope to visit there one day.  Perhaps you will beat me to it?

I love how design meanders around the folds of the linen cloth beneath...


I notice how the chains stitches meander as well, outlining and filling in the shapes.  The thread travels from space to space without being cut...this saves tons of time and yet, it's done so well that you don't really see it unless you look closely.


See how the leaves below are stitched in one continuous spiral.  After finishing one leaf, the stitcher carried the thread over top of the previously stitched vine to start the next leaf...



It must be very peaceful to stitch this type of embroidery...


Not every vine has a leaf and the nodules on the stems give the vine a more carefree appeal...


And those squiggly leaves.  Don't they just add the right touch of charm?  

There's something playful yet elegant about the piece.  Like a young lady beautifully-dressed who might still let you kiss her behind the rose bushes when no one was looking.

The net itself is an old rose beige...


And the entire circle has a scalloped edge with tiny picots every 2mm...


The reverse side of the chain-stitched flowers are a series of straight stitches which you can see below...


As I fold it back up, I love how the transparency of the net lets me see the embroidery through multiple layers.

Photographing the piece allows me to drink in all its majesty and focus on its details.  It's not a perfect piece.  It has a few tears and holes and one day the fragile, net ground will disintegrate.  Lucky for us to at least have the pictures.

Now I'm off to store it in a flat, cool, dry place in acid-free tissue...


Today I must make some karayori threads for my Japanese embroidery class tomorrow...I'll explain that later.

And Mrs. Rose is patiently waiting for her bower to grow.  I have crossed some hurdles on that front.

Have a beauty-filled day everyone.  See you next time.

35 comments:

Laurie said...

Oh Susan! You were right! This is absolutely beyond beautiful. the stitching I have never seen before, what a treasured piece. Thank-you for sharing it with us, just gorgeous!
Thank-you for your comforting message, such always bring me peace.
Bless You!

Maneki said...

What a lovely embroidery! The sheerness (which sadly also make it so fragile as it ages) is beautiful and the designs pretty. And how pretty to have something like that to put over a plain tablecloth.

Old embroideries are always to lovely to look at. So much to enjoy and admire: workmanship, age, designs. Wish I had more antique or even semi-antique embroideries myself. Not counting a few monogrammed inherited bed sheets, I only have a cross-stiched brooch with really tiny stitches and a mystery bead and cross stitch embroidery that was given to my sis and I by a person saying it was a chair backing while others have suggested a shelf cover. It's nice with a little mystery in the pieces so one can play detective and try to unwind its history and origin.

The tulle embroidery makes me think I should do more tulle embroidery (have only ever done a few stiches to try, never made something in tulle).

Suztats said...

What a stunning piece! Thank you for sharing it.

Catherine said...

What am absolutely beautiful piece!!

cucki said...

Wow so pretty x

Rachel said...

It's glorious. If I get to Beauvais I will certainly let you know!

Annette said...

No words can say how pretty this is. BEAUTIFUL is just not enough but all I have. Thanks for sharing the feast for the eyes with us. xoxox

Wendy said...

What a stunning piece of work! I am amazed at how beautiful the piece still is after all this time...such detail in the flowers...but I think the leaves are my favorite as I love the wavy lines...a treasure to be sure.

gracie said...

magnificent....

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

What a beautiful piece all done on that rosey netting. Just exquisite.

FlowerLady

Mary Ann said...

What a beautiful piece of art:)

Createology said...

Exquisite piece of beautiful stitchery. I cannot even imagine stitching on netting. Thank you for sharing such a fine treasure. Bliss...

Gerry Krueger said...

I just loved the variation of colors in the threads... It added so much to the piece... How lovely....

margaret said...

you have certainly unearthed a treasure here, what a find.

Sophie said...

I visited this museum, very small but gorgeous. You can even have a class there. Unfortunately, taking photos is forbidden.

tich said...

This is truly a stunning piece of embroidery. I love the colours and blends. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful piece of work.

Susan Hook said...

How beautiful this piece of embroidery is, it is one of the nicest things I have seen in a long time. You have found something to treasure forever!

Shirlee Fassell said...

Elegant!! You could do that .... You have tour tambour hook!!

wendy said...

How beautiful! I have never seen anything like it before! Thank you for sharing it with us and telling us about it.

Lorraine said...

An exquisite piece.

Marlis said...

This is so beautiful. Thank for sharing this treasure with us. Learned so much about the stitch and its history! xo marlis

denise said...

What a beautiful piece, and some education for me. Thank you for sharing.

liniecat said...

Gosh that is simply stunning......such exquisite stitching

NickiLee said...

Be still my heart! OMG! I can see why it took your breath away - simply gorgeous! Thank you fro sharing so many beautiful pictures.

Marsha said...

Thank you forsharing this lovely work of art. Sigh.

Corina said...

Thank you for showing this gorgeous piece of art!

coral-seas said...

That is beautiful, Susan. Thank you for sharing it with us. I am on tenter hooks to hear about your Japanese embroidery class.

Aurelia Eglantine said...

This is so very GORGEOUS! What a wonderful find :) I've been reading some Victorian textile books over the last few months and have become fascinated with tambouring, but I have never seen such detailed photos of an older piece before! Thanks so much for sharing ;)

Judy S. said...

Beautiful! Wherever did you find it?

deanna7trees said...

Mary Corbett of needlenthread just referred back to this post of yours as she has been talking about tambour work. this is sooooooo....gorgeous. i have all the equipment and i must get started on making my own. thanks for sharing it.

Sharon Dallman said...

Your work is beautiful and inspires me to new things! Thank you for sharing your work!

Susan Elliott said...

Dear Sharon, just to clarify...this is not my work. I am merely the photographer. The piece is an antique and I do not know its maker.

Susan Elliott said...

Dear Sharon, just to clarify...this is not my work. I am merely the photographer. The piece is an antique and I do not know its maker.

Connie said...

Wow - stunning! It is amazing what can be done with one stitch! Thanks for sharing this lovely treasure.

Daisy Debs said...

A veil for a beautiful Fairy Princess Bride. I,m just such a hopeless romantic !

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