Not currently on display at the V&A

Towel or Napkin

1800-1876 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

At the end of the 18th century embroidery designs began to develop into rigid and heavily stylised borders for towels and napkins. The colours of 18th and 19th century embroideries were originally very bright but many have faded to pleasing pastel shades; often great quantities of metal thread were used. Napkins were mainly used to clean fingers during meals, but were also used as decoration and as covers. Their designs were consistently inventive.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Linen, embroidered with silk in double darning on the diagonal and double running in a line, and with metal thread in double darning on the diagonal and fishbone stitch
Brief Description
embroidered, 1800s, Turkish
Physical Description
Towel/Napkin of linen embroidered with silk in double darning on the diagonal and double running in a line with metal thread in double darning on the diagonal and fishbone stitch.

There are 11 silk ends per selvedge.

Along each end is a narrow band of blocks worked in pink and green silk and metal thread. Above this are three large bowls stacked with smaller bowls filld with pink and light pink and interspersed with green leaves.
Dimensions
  • Length: 110.5cm
  • Width: 49cm
Style
Subjects depicted
Summary
At the end of the 18th century embroidery designs began to develop into rigid and heavily stylised borders for towels and napkins. The colours of 18th and 19th century embroideries were originally very bright but many have faded to pleasing pastel shades; often great quantities of metal thread were used. Napkins were mainly used to clean fingers during meals, but were also used as decoration and as covers. Their designs were consistently inventive.
Bibliographic Reference
Illustrated in 'Ottoman Embroidery' by Marianne Ellis and Jennifer Wearden (V&A Publications, 2001); plate 134
Collection
Accession Number
480-1877

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record createdJune 24, 1999
Record URL