Not currently on display at the V&A

A Specimen of Raised Embroidery

Panel of Embroidery
ca. 1851 (embroidered), 1851 (exhibited)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Object Type
This panel is mounted on a piece of wood, and was once framed behind glass for display. Its description as 'a design for trimming or ornament' suggests that it was used for copying onto other items. However, at this time pieces of needlework as decorative as this were sometimes hung on the wall, like paintings.

Subject Depicted
The embroiderer has shown the plants in great detail, which suggests that she may have been inspired by botanical prints. The most likely source is the work of the painter Pierre-Joseph Redouté (1759-1840). He was best known for his illustrations of roses, and published his engravings of them between 1817 and 1824.

People
The museum has no other work by C. Georgiana Mowland, who made the embroidery. She was a London schoolgirl who lived with her family just over a mile from the Victoria & Albert Museum. She was the eldest child of Matthew Mowland, who was a coach driver, and his wife Eliza. Georgiana's father was from Hampshire, and her mother was from Devon. They were evidently among the growing numbers of people who came to London in search of work, and Georgiana and her brother Henry and sisters Eliza and Emily were all born in London.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Raised embroidery and appliqué on satin, the flowers worked in crepe and chenille and the leaves in silk and chenille
Brief Description
Panel of flat embroidery and raised appliqué work, sampler from Great Exhibition; British, 1851
Physical Description
The embroidery is worked on an oblong piece of white satin, and shows a mixture of flat embroidery and raised appliqué techniques. The central spray of white Bourbon roses has one full-blown flower worked in white crepe fabric; the stems are stitched in green and brown silk threads, the foliage is worked in lengths of wired chenille in shades of green and brown, and the bud petals in écru wired chenille. An additional spray of flowers is shown in each corner: the upper pair have blossoms with five rounded petals of white crepe fabric, with the stems worked in green silks, the foliage in wired green chenille, and the centres worked in yellow silks; the lower pair are similar but the blossoms have pointed petals and are made of cream crepe fabric. The panel is whipped to an oblong piece of glazed white linen (mounted on wood) using dark green chenille thread. An oblong piece of écru canvas backed with a piece of white silk hangs from the lower edge of the panel at the back, and is embroidered in tent stitch using bright green silk with details of its maker and entry in the Great Exhibition. The text is set within a border of stylized laurel leaves worked in tent stitch using red silks, with a cross in red at each corner and a split line of stylized bay leaves in green to fill out the last line of text.
Dimensions
  • Height: 27.7cm
  • Width: 18cm
  • Depth: 1cm
Dimensions checked: Measured; 29/08/2000 by ET Embroidery 18 cm x 15.7; text 10.1 x 17.9 cm
Production typeUnique
Marks and Inscriptions
  • A Specimen of Raised Embroidery Executed by C G Mowland No 23 Eaton Mews South Eaton Sq Aged 12 Class 19 No 228 Tapestry in the Exhibition 1851 Design for trimming or ornament (Textual information; English; Canvas panel at base of embroidery; embroidery; silk thread)
  • Crape Embroidery on satin ground. No. 454a. (in Register) (Copperplate; Reverse; writing; ink)
Gallery Label
British Galleries: The Exhibition included work by children and for children. This sampler is an unusual piece at this time, as children were more encouraged to concentrate on plain sewing techniques for practical use and canvas embroidery for decoration.(27/03/2003)
Credit line
Given by HM Commissioners of the Great Exhibition of 1851
Object history
C. Georgiana Mowland, who made the embroidery, was the eldest of four children of Matthew Mowland, who was a coachman from Hampshire, and his wife Eliza, who was from Devon.



The 1851 Census shows Matthew and Eliza Mowland and their children living at the address given on the object. Georgiana (12), her brother Henry (6) and sisters Eliza (9) and Emily (4) had all been born in London, and the three eldest children were at school.



Worked in London by C.G. Mowland (born about 1839)
Production
The initial C in C Georgiana Mowland's name is probably for Charlotte, judging from the record of her subsequent marriage to George Pewsey (a watch and clock maker), but it is clear from the 1841 and 1851 census entries that her family called her Georgiana



Reason For Production: Exhibition
Subjects depicted
Summary
Object Type
This panel is mounted on a piece of wood, and was once framed behind glass for display. Its description as 'a design for trimming or ornament' suggests that it was used for copying onto other items. However, at this time pieces of needlework as decorative as this were sometimes hung on the wall, like paintings.

Subject Depicted
The embroiderer has shown the plants in great detail, which suggests that she may have been inspired by botanical prints. The most likely source is the work of the painter Pierre-Joseph Redouté (1759-1840). He was best known for his illustrations of roses, and published his engravings of them between 1817 and 1824.

People
The museum has no other work by C. Georgiana Mowland, who made the embroidery. She was a London schoolgirl who lived with her family just over a mile from the Victoria & Albert Museum. She was the eldest child of Matthew Mowland, who was a coach driver, and his wife Eliza. Georgiana's father was from Hampshire, and her mother was from Devon. They were evidently among the growing numbers of people who came to London in search of work, and Georgiana and her brother Henry and sisters Eliza and Emily were all born in London.
Bibliographic Reference
Official descriptive and illustrated catalogue of the Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of all Nation 1851. London : Spicer Bros., 1851Class 19 No 228
Collection
Accession Number
AP.423

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record createdNovember 20, 1998
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