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Panel - The Oxburgh Hangings
  • The Oxburgh Hangings
    Mary, Queen of Scots, born 1542 - died 1587
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The Oxburgh Hangings

  • Object:

    Panel

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1570 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Mary, Queen of Scots, born 1542 - died 1587 (maker)
    Talbot, Elizabeth Countess of Shrewsbury, born 1527 - died 1608 (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Embroidered canvas with silk, gold and metal threads

  • Credit Line:

    Presented by Art Fund

  • Museum number:

    T.33DD-1955

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

It was a popular pastime of wealthy ladies in the 16th century to make up large decorative hangings from a number of smaller panels. This enabled a group of women to work on individual panels at the same time. The hangings would be used as part of a bed set, as either curtains or covers, or be placed on the wall like a tapestry. If necessary, they could be dismantled at a later stage and the panels reused. In the case of this hanging, it seems likely that the panels were left unused until the 17th century.

It is very rare to be able to identify surviving embroideries as having been owned or worked by royalty. This piece and others in the same group are exceptional since they were worked by Mary, Queen of Scots and her attendants. During her long imprisonment she made numerous embroideries, some of which have her initials or cipher. This activity must have both filled her time and occupied her mind as many of the emblems or mottoes have more significance than is immediately apparent.

Physical description

Textile panel of embroidered canvas with silk, gold and metal threads in cross stitch.

Place of Origin

England (made)

Date

ca. 1570 (made)

Artist/maker

Mary, Queen of Scots, born 1542 - died 1587 (maker)
Talbot, Elizabeth Countess of Shrewsbury, born 1527 - died 1608 (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Embroidered canvas with silk, gold and metal threads

Marks and inscriptions

AN APE OF TVRKY
Embroidered on the scrolls

Dimensions

Length: 10.25 in, Width: 11 in

Object history note

The Oxburgh Hangings. Hanging with applied panels of embroidery, formerly at Oxburgh Hall, Norfolk.

Descriptive line

Textile panel 'The Oxburgh Hangings' of embroidered canvas with silk, gold and metal threads, possibly made by Mary Queen of Scots and Elizabeth Talbot, England, ca. 1570

Subjects depicted

Monkey (animal)

Categories

Embroidery; Royalty; Textiles; Scotland

Collection

Textiles and Fashion Collection

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