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Casket panel

  • Place of origin:

    England (embroidered)

  • Date:

    1640-1680 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silk satin, embroidered in silk and metal thread

  • Museum number:

    CIRC.468-1925

  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 56, The Djanogly Gallery, case 17

Object Type
This panel was probably for a casket. Decorated caskets were used by girls in the 17th century for storing small personal possessions. They were fitted inside with compartments, suitable for keeping jewellery, cosmetics, writing equipment and letters, needlework tools, tiny toys or keepsakes. They often had mirrors set into the lids, for dressing, and sometimes had secret drawers for particularly precious possessions.

Materials & Making
This panel may have been worked by a young girl, aged about 11 or 12. A girl's needlework education began with embroidered samplers and the decoration of smaller objects like pin cushions. It finally culminated in making the panels for a casket. The girl would embroider a series of small panels, drawn with pictorial scenes taken from engravings. They would then be sent to a cabinet-maker to be made up into the casket.

Subjects Depicted
The panel shows a female figure representing Taste. The most popular subjects for embroidered pictures and panels were scenes from the Old Testament and classical mythology, or the representation in human form of the Virtues and the Senses, the Elements and the Seasons. Figures might be copied directly from their original pictorial sources, but were often updated with fashionable clothes and hairstyles.

Physical description

Embroidered panel showing a personification of Taste. Taste sits in a garden, next to a tree, eating from a basket of apples with a monkey at her feet.

Place of Origin

England (embroidered)

Date

1640-1680 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Silk satin, embroidered in silk and metal thread

Dimensions

Height: 10.8 cm, Width: 13.1 cm

Object history note

Embroidered in England

Descriptive line

Casket panel, embroidered silk, female figure of Taste, English, c.1650

Labels and date

British Galleries:
THE FIVE SENSES

The Five Senses of Hearing, Sight, Touch, Taste and Smell were popular subjects throughout the 17th century. They are found on a wide variety of objects of varying quality. Artists and makers usually depicted them as people involved in appropriate activities. On the ceramic dish is Hearing, the embroidered panel for a casket portrays Taste and all Five Senses are shown on the lining paper for a trunk. [27/03/2003]

Materials

Silk satin; Metal thread; Silk thread

Techniques

Embroidery

Categories

Embroidery; Textiles; Containers; Woodwork; Household objects

Collection

Textiles and Fashion Collection

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