Not currently on display at the V&A

Saddle Cover

1850c (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Silk velvet embroidered with couched metal thread and silk in straight stitches, interlined with stiffened plain weave cotton and backed with paper; the embroidery has been worked through all the layers.
Formed of a rounded rectangle with a partial semi-circular addition. The velvet has been pieced and includes one selvedge with green and yellow warp threads. At the central edge of the semi-circular panel there is evidence of the end of a loom piece: there are two rows of black silk and two or more of white silk. The velvet was originally glued onto the interlining. The rounded rectangle is decorated with a banding of couched rosettes in silver metal thread; this is edged either side with a band of silver thread laid over the seams. A curved arch form with simple trefoil shapes, again in silver thread, interrupts this border on both side sections but the top section is left undecorated. The central space is decorated with a long, waisted V-shape edged in silver metal thread and infilled with a silver-gilt meander.
The partial semi-circular addition is similarly decorated over the seams with a thick leafy silver stem meander emerging from a centrally placed 'lotus' rosette framed in silver-gilt. The meander carries branches, leaves, palmettes and rosettes in silver-gilt with additional details in pink, purple, green and blue silk in straight stitches. A bird is shown in profile perched on the meander either side. Despite all this, the design is very flat and lifeless.
Embroidery Thread: Silk, 2S.
Metal Thread: [1] silver strip close S-wound on white silk thread; [2] silver-gilt strip close S-wound on beige silk.
Interlining: stiffened cotton.
Backing: thick paper, beige in tone.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
cotton yarn, silk thread, metal thread, weaving, embroidering, sewing.
Brief Description
embroidered velvet, 1850c, Persian
Physical Description
Silk velvet embroidered with couched metal thread and silk in straight stitches, interlined with stiffened plain weave cotton and backed with paper; the embroidery has been worked through all the layers.

Formed of a rounded rectangle with a partial semi-circular addition. The velvet has been pieced and includes one selvedge with green and yellow warp threads. At the central edge of the semi-circular panel there is evidence of the end of a loom piece: there are two rows of black silk and two or more of white silk. The velvet was originally glued onto the interlining. The rounded rectangle is decorated with a banding of couched rosettes in silver metal thread; this is edged either side with a band of silver thread laid over the seams. A curved arch form with simple trefoil shapes, again in silver thread, interrupts this border on both side sections but the top section is left undecorated. The central space is decorated with a long, waisted V-shape edged in silver metal thread and infilled with a silver-gilt meander.

The partial semi-circular addition is similarly decorated over the seams with a thick leafy silver stem meander emerging from a centrally placed 'lotus' rosette framed in silver-gilt. The meander carries branches, leaves, palmettes and rosettes in silver-gilt with additional details in pink, purple, green and blue silk in straight stitches. A bird is shown in profile perched on the meander either side. Despite all this, the design is very flat and lifeless.

Embroidery Thread: Silk, 2S.

Metal Thread: [1] silver strip close S-wound on white silk thread; [2] silver-gilt strip close S-wound on beige silk.

Interlining: stiffened cotton.

Backing: thick paper, beige in tone.
Dimensions
  • Maximum length: 70cm
  • Maximum width: 85cm
Marks and Inscriptions
(paper label attached by thread, printed 'No. 2/1663 Reg. 11/12/85 On loan from S&A Department.')
Object history
At time of acquisition this was said to have been made for the mother of the current Shah of Persia in c. 1850. Purchased for £3.5 in 1876 from Major Murdoch Smith
Bibliographic Reference
Published in 'Iranian Textiles' by Jennifer Wearden and Patricia L Baker (V&A Publishing, 2010) Plate 81.
Collection
Accession Number
790-1876

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record createdJune 3, 2008
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