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The Judgement of Solomon

  • Object:

    Embroidered picture

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1686 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silk satin embroidered with silk and embellished with mica, glass beads and metals

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Lord Plender

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Embroidered picture showing the Judgement of Solomon. The King, a fully-round figure, robed in ermine and holding an orb and sceptre, is seated in the centre on a canopied throne. In low-relief are, on the left, one mother and an executioner about to bisect the infant; on the right is the second mother. Below the king is signed '16 AP 86'. Bottom-centre is a fountain standing in a rocaille basin wherein swims a fish.

To the top-right is a castle with open doors and mica windows. The rest of the field is powdered with plants (pear, oak and apple trees; strawberry, tulip, carnation, rose, thistle etc.) and animals (lion, horse, griffin, rabbit, squirrel, snail, caterpillar, etc.), some of them fully-round.

The object is worked in raised and padded work, long and short, split, satin, rococo and tent stitches, French knots, couched work, needlepoint lace, knitting, beadwork, pieces of metal, stone, mica and glass. Predominant colours of the silks: blue, pink, yellow, green white; of the glass beads, gree, blue, brown and mauve.

Place of Origin

England (made)


1686 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Silk satin embroidered with silk and embellished with mica, glass beads and metals

Marks and inscriptions

'16 A P 86'


Length: 59 cm, Width: 47.5 cm

Object history note

Bequeathed to the V&A in February 1946 by Messrs. Deloitte Plender & Co., 5 London Wall Buildings, EC, as executors of the estate of the late William Plender, 1st Baron Plender (acquisition papers: 46/363). On entry to the Museum its condition was described as 'good'.

Descriptive line

embroidered, 1686, English; raised work; the Judgement of Solomon


Silk; Glass; Mica



Subjects depicted

Donkeys; Buildings; Judgement; Insects; Fountains; Justice; Acorns; Flowers; Women; Lions; Griffins; Soldiers; Mothers; Oak tree; Squirrels; Rabbits; Babies


Embroidery; Textiles; Biblical Imagery


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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