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Towel or napkin border

Towel or napkin border

  • Place of origin:

    Turkey (made)

  • Date:

    1800-1899 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Cotton, embroidered with silk and metal thread in double darning, with metal thread in double darning, fishbone and satin stitch, and with plate in satin stitch filling in squares and satin stitch

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mrs Muriel Thomson

  • Museum number:

    T.261A-1934

  • 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 Border, cotton embroidered with silk in double darning, with metal thread in double darning, fishbone and satin stitch and with plate in satin stitch filling in squares and satin stitch.
The narrow border is formed by a scalloped line of metal thread; at each point there is tree-like foliage in dark green alternating with light green and containing two flowerheads. The main border contains two repeated motifs: (1) a large tree with a pair of metal thread leaves, dark and light green foliage and small pink flowerheads and (2) a rather abstract arrangement which may be interpreted as a rectangular blue pool above which is a building flanked on either side by rectangular flowerbeds, each containing a single cypress tree; there is a large pink and metal thread blossom on top.

Place of Origin

Turkey (made)

Date

1800-1899 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Cotton, embroidered with silk and metal thread in double darning, with metal thread in double darning, fishbone and satin stitch, and with plate in satin stitch filling in squares and satin stitch

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

Illustrated in 'Ottoman Embroidery' by Marianne Ellis and Jennifer Wearden (V&A Publications, 2001); plate 101

Materials

Cotton yarn; Silk thread; Metal thread

Techniques

Weaving; Embroidering

Subjects depicted

Trees; Buildings; Flowers

Categories

Textiles; Embroidery

Collection

Middle East Section

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