Bed Cover

ca. 1700 (made)
Bed Cover thumbnail 1
Not currently on display at the V&A

Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

William Morris recommended the acquisition of this cover by the Museum. It shows a traditional north European design based, he believed, on a 13th century design which showed 'the abiding influence of Byzantine Art in Iceland…'

The subject is religious; reading anti-clockwise from the top left the images represent: The Sacrifice of Isaac, Moses before Pharoah, Moses with the Tablets of the Law and Christ entering Jerusalem.

The inscriptions consist of three verses composed by the magistrate Páll Vídalín, husband of the noted Icelandic embroideress, Thorbjorg Magnusdottir (1667-1737) who made this bedcover. They were married in 1696 and according to the last two lines of the third verse the wife embroidered 'the words' according to her 'husband's instructions' indicating that at least part of the cover was worked after their marriage.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Wool, embroidered with wool
Brief Description
Embroidered bed cover by Thorbjorg Magusdottir, made in Iceland, 17th century.
Physical Description
Bed Cover, wool embroidered with wool in long-armed cross stitch with eyelets.



The subject is religious; reading anti-clockwise from the top left the images represent: The Sacrifice of Isaac, Moses before Pharoah, Moses with the Tablets of the Law and Christ entering Jerusalem.

Dimensions
  • Length: 172.7cm
  • Width: 134.6cm
Object history
William Morris recommended the acquisition of this cover. It shows a traditional north European design based, he believed, on a 13th century design which showed 'the abiding influence of Byzantine Art in Iceland …'



The inscriptions consist of three verses composed by the magistrate Páll Vídalín, husband of the noted Icelandic embroideress, Thorbjorg Magnusdottir [1667-1737] who made this bedcover. They were married in 1696 and according to the last two lines of the third verse the wife embroidered 'the words' according to her 'husband's instructions' indicating that at least part of the cover was worked after their marriage.
Subjects depicted
Literary References
  • Exodus
  • Matthew 21:1-11
  • Mark 11:1-11
  • Luke 19:28-44
  • John 12:12-19
  • Genesis 22
Summary
William Morris recommended the acquisition of this cover by the Museum. It shows a traditional north European design based, he believed, on a 13th century design which showed 'the abiding influence of Byzantine Art in Iceland…'



The subject is religious; reading anti-clockwise from the top left the images represent: The Sacrifice of Isaac, Moses before Pharoah, Moses with the Tablets of the Law and Christ entering Jerusalem.



The inscriptions consist of three verses composed by the magistrate Páll Vídalín, husband of the noted Icelandic embroideress, Thorbjorg Magnusdottir (1667-1737) who made this bedcover. They were married in 1696 and according to the last two lines of the third verse the wife embroidered 'the words' according to her 'husband's instructions' indicating that at least part of the cover was worked after their marriage.
Bibliographic Reference
Parry, Linda, ed. William Morris. London: Philip Wilson Publishers Limited, 1996. 384 p., ill. ISBN 0856674419
Collection
Accession Number
8-1884

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record createdJanuary 29, 2002
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