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Towel or napkin

Towel or napkin

  • Place of origin:

    Turkey (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1800 - ca.1899 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Cotton, embroidered with silk and metal thread in double running variations and combinations

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Lady Hudson

  • Museum number:

    T.65-1963

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

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.

Physical description

Towel/napkin of cotton embroidered with silk and metal thread in double running variations and combinations. The narrow border along either end is green and meanders in an angular fashion with pairs of small leaves and round blossoms each in yellow and red. The main border is divided into a series of arched compartments with vertical columns. Each compartment contains a stylised tree with green roots, palm-like leaves and a pair of hanging yellow leaves (or fruit) outlined in red. At the top of each arch is a small tree with seven round blossoms outlined in red and between these is a small tree in two shades of green.One side has been cut and hemmed and there is an attached band of needle lace worked with metal thread in detached buttonhole stitch.

Place of Origin

Turkey (made)

Date

ca. 1800 - ca.1899 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Cotton, embroidered with silk and metal thread in double running variations and combinations

Dimensions

Length: 146 cm, Width: 55 cm

Object history note

Registered File number 1962/2255

Descriptive line

Towel/napkin, Turkish, nineteenth century

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Illustrated in 'Ottoman Embroidery' by Marianne Ellis and Jennifer Wearden (V&A Publication, 2001); plate 137

Materials

Cotton yarn; Silk thread; Metal thread

Techniques

Weaving; Embroidering; Sewing; Lace making

Subjects depicted

Arches; Leaves; Stylized flowers; Trees

Categories

Textiles; Embroidery

Collection

Middle East Section

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