Monday, September 9, 2013

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

One of the many highlights of our trip to Scotland was a trip to the Burrell Collection in Glasgow.



The Burrell houses an eclectic collection gifted to the City of Glasgow in 1944 by Sir William Burrell who was a wealthy, shipping magnate living in Glasgow.

And believe it or not,  it had one of the most beautiful collections of needlework...on display...all in one place.  Not to mention that there is a Gilt and Silk exhibition there currently.

Luckily for us, I had just purchased a new point and shoot camera that had a particularly good sensor, making it better for shooting in low-light situations such as museums.

Here's just one of the stumpwork treasures that I found there...


A young girl would often stitch on samplers to learn embroidery skills, eventually graduating to stitching on caskets and mirror surrounds.

The patterns were often sold in pieces and then sent back to a cabinet maker to put together once the embroidery was complete.

This is a silk-on-silk, English embroidery from 1660. 

And thanks to my camera, I was able to bring you some incredible details given the low light in which the piece hung...

Left middle...


Top left...


Top center...


I LOVE this castle..the roof tiles, the front door..the wrapped silk pearl over the doorway.  

And check out the mica used for windows...


Middle right...


The camel sits just above the woman on this young woman holding an arrow...


And sitting below her...


Bottom right.  This flower looks like it was stitched on a slip and applied later, edges being covered by a couched cord...


And check out this quasi-undersea scene surrounding a fountain, with sequin water...the sequins looked like they were mica as well....



And a close-up shows some pearly beads in the fringe of those *ahem* anemones??..


Another "slip" flower on the left side of the fountain, bottom left:


This courageous lion with his curly mane sits right above the flower...


And above the lion, this young man holding a piece of "fruit" ?  Hmmm...


And on the topmost left corner is this wonderful needlelace tree...


I must have spent 30 minutes with this one piece alone.  It's in such great condition and I'm pleased to share it with you all.

Perhaps you are working on a mirror or casket as part of Tricia Wilson Nguyen's online university, Thistle Threads??

Have an inspired Monday everyone!

30 comments:

Denise said...

WOW! Amazing to see it up close and to just imagine the little lady working on it.What a treat for You and Us too-Thank You.

Elizabeth Braun said...

What a terrific piece!

I *really* need to get to grips with the low-lighting settings on my camera, as that's what I wanted that model for! Still, there's a lot than can be done with Photoshop Elements in terms of brightness, contrast and sharpening...=)

Allison Aller said...

What a treat and a joy!

gracie said...

Thank you for taking us to the museum...beautiful works...

Gail Devoid said...

What a wonderful review of what you saw the museum! Thank you for taking the time to take these pictures and describe what you saw. I did a video of pictures I took at the Museum of Glass in Corning, New York. I was so glad to have them later on.

Witch of Stitches said...

Gorgeous photos. Thanks so much for sharing.

cucki said...

Wow such joy x

inlovewiththreads said...

Wow, Susan! Thanks for sharing the pictures with us. I can't decide if I love the castle or the camel more. I am wondering how the lion's mane was made. Do you know what stitch it is?

Heather M.

etbrodelepapillon said...

Thank you so much for the very detailed pictures of stumpwork embroidery. I've never seen so much details.

liniecat said...

What a feast of stitching from way back when and in surprisingly good condition too. What a treat it must have been to have seen it in its original colours though!
Love that shaggy lions mane and yes, that last tree is really special.
Thanks for taking such great pics!!

linnyt said...

What a treat this was. Thanks for sharing it. Do you mind if I share it with Mary Corbet of Needle n' Thread?

essaywriter said...

Those are great photos. I'm shopping for a camera. Can you tell us what kind of camera it is? thanks

Grovenore said...

Absolutely wonderful detail. I too want to know what kind of camera this is. I want one that can take pictures that show this kind of detail. Thanx for a wonderful museum field trip. Grovenore

Miriam said...

What an amazing piece of work! I love the needlelace tree and using mica for the windows. It must have taken ages to complete!
It is in wonderful condidtion, considering its age.
Thank you very much for sharing.

Linda H said...

WOW Susan! What a feast for the eyes. Thanks for taking the great photos and sharing them with us.. It's such a treat to "go on trips" with you!!

Judy S. said...

Gosh, we're going to have to go back to Glasgow! Isn't it wonderful that the piece is in such fabulous condition? Wonder whether ours will be so lucky..... Thanks for sharing your great photos, Susan.

Starr White said...

Susan, your blog is like a wonderful stitching magazine - I look forward to every informative post! Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful, historic piece with us. The stitching mags should take a page from you!!

Createology said...

This stitchery is truly an amazing heirloom. Your camera and photos are showing wonderful details. Breathless stitching. Thank you so very much for sharing dear...

margaret said...

you lucky girl visiting the Burrell, one day maybe I will get to see it, such a shame i did not visit when I was in Glasgow, used to go twice a year to work at the stitching shows there but never time for sight seeing etc. The quality of your photos is great thanks for sharing them

FLOWER FRIEND said...

Thanks for a great post and brilliant photos Susan. Glasgow is only train ride away for us to visit and this collection is going on my places to visit list.

Coeur de freesia said...

Thanks for the photos. This embroidery is wonderful - full of lovely details.

dreaminginstitches said...

Simply stunning - both the piece and your pictures! I'm so pleased I'm not the only one who can sit/stand and stare at a piece of needlework for an age, drinking it in - I've had some very interesting conversations with room guides in historic houses, those who stitch are always sympathetic and often very knowledgable, those who don't seem to think I'm a weirdo!

Susan Hook said...

These old embroideries are in fantastic condition, thanks for showing them to us!

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

Not only is the stitching awe inspiring, but the condition of the piece is amazingly preserved. There is so much history in needlework, isn't there.
xx, Carol

Laurel's Quill said...

These women must have sat all day, day in day out and did needlework!! Imagine!!

coral-seas said...

I was watching a program about the Burrell Museum a few nights ago. Apart from the amazing collection, the museum itself looks lovely.

Thanks for these wonderful pictures. The detail in them is supperb.

Shirlee Fassell said...

Thanks for sharing!! Beauitful work and great pictures!!

Catherine said...

Fabulous! I could look at your photos for hours!

Rachel said...

What a treat - and isn't this piece in fabulous condition!

Elizabeth said...

Exquisite!! photography and stitchwork!! there really is nothing like silk!!!

Related Posts with Thumbnails