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Cushion cover

Cushion cover

  • Place of origin:

    Warwickshire (probably, made)

  • Date:

    1600-1610 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Sheldon Tapestry Workshops (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Tapestry woven in silk and wool on wool warp

  • Credit Line:

    Purchased through the Murray Bequest

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

"Judith was left alone in the tent, with Holofernes stretched out on the bed, for he was overcome with wine. She went up to the post at the end of the bed, above Holofernes' head, and took down his sword that hung there. She came close to the bed and took hold of the hair of his head, and said: 'Give me strength this day, O Lord God of Israel!'. And she struck his neck twice with all her might, and severed his head from his body. After a moment she went out and gave Holofernes' head to her maid (Judith 13, 1-10)".

This tapestry woven cushion cover shows the episode of Judith who saved her city of Bethulia from the siege of Holofernes, general of the Assyrian king Nabucodonosor, by killing him after a banquet.

Heroines from the bible, such as Judith, Abigail and Esther, who saved others by their courageous actions, were celebrated for their virtue and depicted throughout the 16th and 17th centuries in a variety of media ranging from paintings and enamels to textiles.

Physical description

The border has waving floral sprays on a red ground with snake-like 'S' on the oblique lines. The central panel is showing Judith and her maid, dressed in archaic dress, standing on a little hill. Judith is holding Holofernes head by his hair in her left hand and sword in her right. They are surrounded by oversized lush verdure and flowers. Flowers recognisable are: honeysuckle, cornflower and carnation, also sprays of strawberries with flowers.

Place of Origin

Warwickshire (probably, made)


1600-1610 (made)


Sheldon Tapestry Workshops (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Tapestry woven in silk and wool on wool warp


Length: 48 cm, Width: 47.8 cm

Object history note

Made at the Sheldon tapestry workshops at Barcheston, now in Warwickshire.

Descriptive line

Tapestry woven cushion cover showing the story of Judith.


Silk; Wool yarn


Slit tapestry

Subjects depicted



Tapestry; Household objects


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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