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Title: Jacobean Embroidery - Its Forms and Fillings Including Late Tudor
Author: Fitzwilliam, Ada Wentworth, Hands, A. F. Morris
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Its Forms and Fillings
Including Late Tudor



Publishers' Note.

Plates 1, l0a, 11, 12 (part of), 20 and 23 have already been published
in "Needlecraft Monthly Magazine" and are included in this collection by
permission of the Editor.

London Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner and Co. Ltd.
Broadway House, Carter Lane, E.C.


Introductory History by A. F. Morris Hands.

Op. I    Tudor Work.

Op. II    Early 17th Century.

Op. III   Details of Blue Crewel Work (the late Lady Maria Ponsonby's).

Op. IV    The uses of Stem Stitch and other characteristics.

Op. V     Bed Hangings at Hardwicke Hall.

Op. Va    Groups of Fillings in which darning plays important part.

Op. VI    Bed Hanging from Powis Castle.

Op. VII   Characteristic Foliations and Late 17th Century Fillings.

Op. VIII  Solid Crewel Work 18th Century including the _Terra Firma_ and
          different birds and beasts.



1   Strip of Tudor Work.

2   Group of leaves on cushions at Knole Park.

2a  Group of light details in early examples.

3   Details from old example, carried out in dark blues, belonged to the
    late Lady Maria Ponsonby.

4   Ditto.

5   Ditto.

6   Ditto.

7   Detail of Foxglove design.

8   Colour plate--Detail from old Bed Hangings, dated 1696.

9   Detail from old Bed Hangings, dated 1696.

10  Large heavy leaf in work dated 1696.

10a Leaf showing seven different stitches.

11  Bed Hanging at Hardwicke.

12  Set of details (in colour) of Hardwicke design.

13  Set of details of Hardwicke design.

14  Group of Fillings.

15  Design of Bed Hangings at Powis Castle.

16  Characteristic leaf of best period.

17  Ditto.

18  Late 17th Century Fillings.

19  Fillings from Georgian copy of old example.

20  Stem of leaf in Solid work (colour plate).

21  Examples of different leaves.

22  Ditto.

23  Colour plate--_Terra Firma_.

24  Birds and Beasts characteristic of Jacobean design.

25  Ditto.

26  Ditto.

27  Ditto.


To redeem the monotony of plain surfaces has ever been the aim of all
the arts, but especially that of the needle, which being the oldest
expression of decorative intention, has, from the earliest time, been
very dependent on its groundwork for its ultimate results. This is
particularly the case in embroideries of the type of what is commonly
known as Jacobean, where the ground fabric is extensively visible, as it
is also in that wondrous achievement, the Bayeux tapestry worked in
coarse wools upon homespun linen and therefore quite miscalled

Inaccuracy in nomenclature is one of the stumbling blocks the student
encounters, and the tendency of the day to classify "styles" by the
restricted formula of monarchical periods is likewise misleading. No
style is ever solely distinctive of one reign, or even one century, the
law of evolution rules the arts as it does nature, there is always a
correlation between styles in art and circumstances of existence that is
productive of gradual changes of taste, therefore, pronounced evidences
in design are, actually, the culminating point in a course of combined
influences which have reached the period of individual expression.

Crewel work of the type of Jacobean, was the outcome of that earlier
wool embroidery that even in the zenith of fame of the Ecclesiastical
broderers still quietly went on its way.

In the middle ages, furnishing of rooms was scanty, and embroidered
hangings, cushion and stool covers provided the necessary notes of
colour and comfort; the wall hangings of the 13th century were of coarse
canvas decorated with a design executed in wools.

It is curious how in English embroideries there has always been a
predilection on the part of the designers for interlacing stems, and for
the inconsequent introduction of birds and beasts.

Mons de Farcy, author of _La Broderie du Onzième siècle jusqu'à nos
jours_, remarks that "it seems that the position of England, surrounded
by the sea on all sides, has provoked in its inhabitants the passion of
travelling over the sea, and they came to know, before continental
nations, of the parrots and other birds of brilliant plumage so often
reproduced in their needlework."[1]

Mrs. Christie, an English authority on Embroidery, admirably sums up the
evolution of designs when she writes "Examination of old Embroideries
gathered from all parts of the world shows that each individual
specimen, every flower and bud, is a development of some existing form,
and is not an original creation, invented, as some appear to think all
designs are, upon the spur of the moment." In the creation of a design
it is a case of assimilation of the fittest and the elimination of the
unsuitable from existing examples, thus the interlacing stems of the
work of the 14th century became grafted on to the version of the Tree of
Life idea in the Oriental designs that came to England in the 16th,
through the intercourse opened up by the formation of the East India
Company, at the end of Elizabeth's reign.

To deem, as do some writers, the bold, rather ponderous crewel work of
the 17th century, sole outcome of the importation of the Palampores of
Musulipatan, is to ignore all the tendencies manifested in the
embroideries of previous centuries; in the same way, to repudiate the
emblematical significance of special features markedly introduced into
old designs, is to betray a complete lack of knowledge of the mind and
manners of the people of superstitious days.

Knowledge was not rapidly acquired, and even as late as the 17th century
was largely disseminated through the country by allegorical narratives,
while emblematical lore reflected the history of the immediate moment.
There was in the poetry and in the embroidery of Elizabeth's day, a
sportive quality which was not likely to be checked under the Stuarts,
_doubles entendres_ were not confined to jests! and the political and
religious differences of opinion, rampant throughout the period, found
expression in the most fantastic ways.

The Stump Embroidery, in vogue at the same time as the crewel hangings
specially treated in this volume, was full of symbolism, and naturally
the same inspiration directed the worker in crewels. Curiously enough,
both these very different types of needlework, crystalised into
individuality concurrently, yet one is usually designated Jacobean, the
other referred to as Stuart. In this connection it is well also to
remember, that the Stuart era extended, historically, from 1603 to 1714,
_viz._, from the reign of James I (Jacobus) to that of Queen Anne,
daughter of James II.

Queen Anne is so often relegated, in the public mind, to an isolated
position, genealogically, and the pronounced developments in the changes
of taste that took place at the commencement of the of the 18th century,
left such a very definite impression, that she is rarely remembered as a
Stuart; it was in her reign, however, that the vogue for the old crewel
embroideries revived, and though differences of treatment crept in, the
designs, were, in the main, purely Jacobean, being copies or
adaptations of patterns popular in the middle of the 17th century. It is
these copies that exist mostly to-day, few, indeed, are those hangings
which pertain to the earlier date, but a study of those few, taken in
conjunction with the still fewer that remain of the 16th century, prove
the _gradual_ growth of the designs that have the tree motif which makes
them all kin.

Lady Brougham and Vaux had a most wonderful collection, from which
interesting comparisons could be made. One pair of bed hangings, of
coarse linen of the 16th century, show the trees with a meandering
growth entirely characteristic of those of heavier kind which appear in
later embroideries, these trees also are undoubtedly intended to
represent the Tree of Life, for round one is coiled a serpent, while
beneath the scanty but large leaved boughs, incidents in the story of
the expulsion from Paradise are to be descried, as also the procession
into the ark.

The work is without doubt early, for there is a primitive character in
the arrangement of the inconsequent groups of figures, Adam and Eve
stand nude either side the tree, couples in weird though contemporaneous
costume to the work are dotted over the surface quite at haphazard.

The similarity between the tree on these curtains and on one of the 18th
century once in the same collection is very striking. Added grace of
design has beautified the later work, but the same forms can be traced
and the same parrots and squirrels are introduced, the Biblical story at
the foot of the 16th century curtain has been replaced by a portion of
the legend of the human soul.

Another very interesting example I have seen, attributed to the years of
James I's reign, seems to suggest that the worker had realised the
"waves" in an Eastern pattern and made growths of coral at the base of
the tree, but had then converted a line or two of waves into _terra
firma_, for at one end reposes a lion, towards which a stag is bounding
with head turned back as if in fear of pursuers.

The birds in this example are very tropical, a miniature peacock on the
lower branches spreads its tail stiffly, parrots like the one
illustrated in our collection of details, birds of paradise, and
squirrels, are all to be noted among foliations that are the most
superb, taken individually, it is possible to imagine, most are worked
fairly solid, such light fillings as there are, being small sprays of
leaves like those in our plate No. 17.

Carnations, harebells, canterbury bells, roses, marigolds, grapes, are
included in the composition; block shading, chain stitch, stem stitch
are all employed in the working, and a very interesting example of the
Opus Plumarian is given in the tail feathers of the tiny peacock.

The dissection of detail in early English crewel embroidery is a very
fascinating occupation and well repays the expenditure of time. So
little has been written about this particular phase of the embroiderer's
art, that it is by old records and examples one becomes best informed
and in a great measure enabled to trace the growth of the style that
culminated in the massive designs that derived their name from the epoch
in which they were in favour. Tudor crewel work, was chiefly done in
broad outline of a more or less fanciful nature as regards the
stitching, witness the sections of that Tudor piece which is shewn in
our first illustration.

Forms were large but gradually became reduced as they were worked more
solidly. The beautiful foxglove pattern in "Bess of Hardwicke's"
curtains at Hardwicke, shews a very slight feeling of transition but it
may safely be assumed that one of the influences bearing on the
execution of the crewel work, was the portentous character of much of
the contemporary canvas hand-worked tapestry such as the famous set of
panels unearthed in Hatton Gardens. The architectural basis is a link
between the Ecclesiastical and Secular embroideries of the past
centuries, and anyone interested in the evolution of design would be
struck with the similitude of the large leaves and flowers in these
panels to those of the crewel designs of the same date; it is also
noteworthy that the symbolic significance in the details of the panels
is ecclesiastic, whereas in the crewel work it is always based on the
legend of the Tree of Life, or secularly emblematic.

Colourings were often in both styles, blues, greens, bright yellows and
browns predominated, carnation reds figuring in some examples, used for
the flower of that name and for the pomegranate, which, with its seeds
visible, signifies future life and immortality.

The carnation and the caterpillar were both Stuart emblems, and occur in
nearly all kinds of work executed during their reigns; the rose, of
course, has its national as well as its religious significance, likewise
the oak (after the restoration).

The potato flower seen in both Jacobean and Portuguese embroideries is
an example of the habit of recording the latest novelty, the strawberry
was also popular on this account, and is frequently introduced in those
hillocky foregrounds, which, to me, appear one of the most interesting
evidences of combined influences.

Once again, another Oriental idea was evidently assimilated, for in
numberless Chinese patterns one sees the main motive springing out of a
base of waves formed exactly like the hillocks which became such a
distinctive feature in these large branching designs.

In the earliest examples the hillocks were much broken up, and smaller
(more like the mounds in the painted Palampores) than in the later work,
from which we may presume the spread of the Oriental influence had done
its work, the "terra firma" being carried out with a similitude to the
eastern version of waves that includes the actual stitchery; grafted on
to this was the legend of the pursuit of the human soul (typified by a
hart) by evil, personified by the huntsman, the hounds and various
uncanny beasts, two bearing unflattering resemblance to the heraldic
lion and leopard; while rabbits, snails, grubs of all kind hinder the
hart's progress, these are relics of the days when The Bestiarta
(symbolism of beasts) was carefully studied.

The riotous re-action from the Puritan rule was reflected in the
embroideries of the restoration, as in everything else, and patterns
became exuberant, colouring more brilliant, the exquisite stitchery
gradually gave place to the easier achievement of solid fillings, and
the requisite relief was secured by light sprays filling up the ground
between the larger leaves, jasmine, cherries, harebells, potato
flowers, honeysuckle, shamrock or trefoil and acorns took the lead.

It is an almost impossible task to describe the large leaves, since they
bear no resemblance to anything natural, they are, however, rarely
angular in outline, rejoicing rather in sweeping curves, and drooping
points, curled over to display the under side of the leaf, a device that
gave opening for much ingenuity in the arrangement of the stitches. The
variety in these was so great that on reading the enumeration made by
Taylor, the Water Poet, one becomes quite breathless. The predominating
ones, however, are--_Outline or Stem Stitch_, used for all but the
largest stems, and veining and outlining leaves and flowers.

_Shading Stitch_, sometimes called long and short, used for large
branches and leaves, _Basket_ and _Double Back Stitch_ are also used for
these stems.

_Satin Stitch_, for all kinds of flowers and small foliage, or for the
definite flat shading, that is like block shading without the ridge
caused by the carrying back of the wool into the past row of stitches.

_Buttonhole_, also much used for leaves, especially those having light
fillings and broad outlines.

_Rope Stitch_, _Coral_, _Cable_ and _Chain_, also for outlines, the last
named being also used for fillings.

The fancy fillings such as darning, French knots, etc., are demonstrated
and described in the following pages, and the colour plates endeavour to
give the idea of the correct colourings. In this connection, a few
observations, based on the study of genuine originals, may not be amiss.

As I have before mentioned, a certain brilliancy characterised the work
at one period, but this cannot be regarded as the best type to imitate.
The most harmonious were carried out in two schemes. One had all the
leaves worked in Mandarin blues, shading from darkest indigo to softest
blue-grey. These were placed in juxtaposition, with tender mignonette
and silvery greens, a strong accent being _occasionally_ introduced by a
flower or filling carried out in true rose leaf shade or by veinings of
bronze greens and browns.

The other scheme, and this is more rarely met with, was in bronze greens
throughout, intermixed with yellow and about three shades of the dull
blues. Black sometimes is to be noticed in both these colour schemes,
also bright and buff yellows and chestnut browns, and the colours were
mostly confined to the blue scheme first named, but there are examples
extant of an entire design carried out in shades of red, as in the Tudor
and early 16th century hangings one finds blues responsible for the
whole colouring. These vary in tone, and in the late copies of the
designs the blue has a very green tinge about it.[2]

In the reign of Queen Anne taste reverted to the older lighter designs,
grotesques were eliminated, massiveness gave place to grace, and
brightness of colour to a soft modified brilliancy that was very
engaging. In the Georgian copies heaviness again obtained favour, and
gradually the designs deteriorated, and were eventually temporarily lost
in "the limbo of the past." The vogue for lace work in the reign of
William and Mary influenced the stitches in the crewel embroidery, and
in Queen Anne's day the variety of stitches was reminiscent of the
earlier period, some of the fillings being beautiful.

The material used was through all the phases the same, viz., a twill
fabric, of which the warp was of linen, the weft of cotton; the wools
varied somewhat in the twist, but were always worsted, the word crewel
being a diminutive of clew, "a ball of thread," and probably came into
vogue with the importation of wools from Germany, the corresponding word
in that language being _Knäuel_.


[1] Opus Anglicum by M. Louis de Farcy in "Embroidery."

[2] See example in South Kensington carried out in very hard twisted
blue wools. The curtain belonging to Mr. Hearn, and now at South
Kensington, is a beautiful specimen of the full colouring of the late
17th century.

Op. I



This plate was sketched from a very old strip of Tudor work, measuring
about 5ft. 8in. in length and 1ft. 8in. in width. Each leaf was about
22in. long and 19in. across. The strip had evidently been part of a bed
valance, and, as far as one could tell--for it was much faded--had been
worked in two shades of wool only--dark indigo blue and bright green;
the latter had faded, almost everywhere, to a soft mignonette colour.

Op. II


A group of blue leaves, etc., taken from some old cushions at Knole
Park, Sevenoaks.

No. 1. Stem stitch contour: Maidenhair in buttonhole stitch. Star in
buttonhole stitch on background of small crosses.

No. 2. Stem stitch.

No. 3. Stem stitch contours. Centre in loop stitch.

No. 4. Stem stitch contours. Centre loop stitch and maidenhair in
buttonhole stitch.

No. 5. Stem stitch.

[Illustration: PLATE 2]


Group of the lighter details that break up the heavy masses in the
earliest and latest examples.

The medlar-like fruit is worked in Crewel stitch in bands of brown, stem
lighter in shade.

The leaves, Example I & II, satin stitch with stem stitch outline both
sides, centre veinings in stem stitch, turnover in leaf, II, in block

III Buttonhole edging with darned centre, centre filled with strands of
wool caught down at intervals with double back stitch.

IV Flowers in soft blues in satin stitch, acorns have their cups worked
in French knots.

[Illustration: PLATE 2a]


The following plates were sketched from an old strip of work done in
deep indigo worsted wool, with a rather lighter wool, both in colour and
make, used in the fine buttonhole work and darning, of which there is
much throughout the work. The design was a branching one, the flowers
and leaves--most of which appear in the following plates--are hanging
from stems about a quarter of an inch thick done in herring-bone stitch,
with the exception of the violas (plate 5) which have a thicker stem of
their own in herring-bone, stem stitch and loops. The thistles (plate 3,
No. 1) reproduced the same size as in the work, were scattered about in
groups of three, making a very pleasing contrast to the hanging roses
(plate 6), whilst the irises reared their heads all along the bottom of
the strip, but owing to the work having been cut, it was impossible to
see how they joined their straight stalks to the branching ones above.


No. 1. Stem stitch contour: diaper work done in coral stitch, with a
French knot filling in each alternate square. Four rows of buttonhole
stitch at top of flower.

No. 2. Stem-stitch, coral stitch and darning.

No. 3. Buttonhole stitch, French knot and stem stitch.

No. 4. Stem stitch and buttonhole stitch.

No. 5. Coral stitch. (These tendrils occurred all over the work and were
very effective.)

No. 6. Buttonhole stitch: centre and stalk in stem stitch.

No. 7. Stem stitch and loops.

[Illustration: PLATE 3]


The iris shown here was worked as follows: The contours in stem stitch
throughout. The centre and two side petals have stem stitch veins, edged
buttonhole stitch and were filled in with big knots. The smaller petals
were partially filled in with buttonhole stitch and darning. The dark
petal on left was done in Cretan[3] stitch edged stem stitch.

[3] A variation of herring bone stitch.

[Illustration: PLATE 4]


No. 1. Contour in stem stitch, filled in lightly with buttonhole stitch,
and darning and long-and-short stitch.

No. 2. Ditto, with the addition of herring-bone stitch on two upper

No. 3. (Stalk) herring-bone stem stitch with loops between.

[Illustration: PLATE 5]


No. 1. Stem-stitch, buttonhole stitch and darning.

No. 2. Ditto.

No. 3. Stem stitch, buttonhole stitch, French knots and darning.

No. 4. Stem stitch, buttonhole stitch and darning.

All have herring-bone stitch stalks.

     Sketched from a piece of work in blue crewels on white linen,
     belonged to the late Lady Maria Ponsonby.

[Illustration: PLATE 6]


Most of the stitchery shown here is similar to that on the preceding
plates, but has the addition of the plait stitch[4] edged with
buttonhole stitch in the veins of the big leaf, and the close knots on
the sheaf of the foxgloves, while the sheaf of the convolvulus has veins
of stem stitch and small French knots.

In all this piece of work there is to be noted a great deal of
buttonholing and darning.

[4] A variation of herring-bone stitch.

[Illustration: PLATE 7]

Op. IV


Shows many uses to which stem stitch can be put, which is the only
stitch employed in the work illustrated here, if we except the little
arrow-heads used to edge the vine leaf.

[Illustration: PLATE 8]

The following sketches were taken from a most beautiful and elaborate
strip of work, forming part of some bed-hangings, dated A.D. 1696,
worked in hard twisted crewels in blue, mignonette, and green colourings


treats of button-holeing stitch done in a variety of ways.

No. 1 has groups of three button-hole stitches and crosses in centre,
and is edged by chain stitch and arrow-heads.

No. 2. Button-hole stitch centre and edge.

No. 3. Button-hole stitch with stalks in stem stitch.

[Illustration: PLATE 9]


In this sketch are three principal stitches, viz.: Chain stitch filling
in spaces Nos. 1-2 (on left of sketch) and forming the contour of the
whole leaf; button-hole stitch filling spaces Nos. 3-4; and a lace
stitch filling spaces Nos. 5-6-7. The other two spaces are filled by
brick stitch, and darning with little veins of coral stitch and herring
bone. There are loop stitches in the centre of the veining in spaces
6-7, and these are also worked round the outside of the leaf.

[Illustration: PLATE 10]


This leaf, having a contour of chain stitch, is filled in at the top
with a brown and blue branch in stem stitch, edged with short-and-long
stitch. The green turnover is in chain stitch with blue chain stitch
veins, and the blue turnovers at base of leaf are done in a lace surface
stitch, while the rest is filled in with small darning stitches, coral
stitches and a little bit of button-hole stitching. The three central
leaves crossing stem are in red and green, and blue and green; the brown
stalks are worked in stem stitch. Loops are worked round the outside of
the leaf here as in all the bigger leaves on this work. The spike on the
left of the sketch is in herring bone stitch edged with arrow heads.

[Illustration: PLATE 10a]

Op. V

The following three plates are sketches from the bed hangings in the
"Chapel" room at Hardwicke Hall, Derbyshire--the property of the Duke of


Shows the full design, which is a repeating one, of the hangings. The
details of the stitchery will be found on the following plates.

[Illustration: PLATE 11]


No. 1. One of the many conventional foliations in this design, carried
out in stem stitch, buttonhole and darning.

No. 2. Close chain stitch for the circles with herring bone for the
stalk running through them.

No. 3. The same stem as in foxgloves but with darning introduced up the

No. 4. The sheafs of the foxgloves are worked in crochet stitch edged
stem stitch.

The contours of flowers in back stitch, filled in short-and-long
stitches and darning.

[Illustration: PLATE 12]


No. 1. Contour in chain stitch. Vein stem stitch edged two rows
short-and-long stitches and darning.

No. 2. Contour in _double_ chain stitch. Veins in knot stitch edged
darning. Loops in middle of centre vein.

No. 3. Contour in stem stitch; vein ditto, edged with two rows of
short-and-long stitches and darning.

No. 4. Contour in chain stitch, edged darning. Centre vein chain stitch.
Branching veins knot stitch outlined with darning stitches.

No. 5. Contour buttonhole stitch and darning. Veins knot stitch and

[Illustration: PLATE 13]

Op. Va


A group of fillings in which darning plays an important part, the
backgrounds of two of the leaves were carried out in indigo, the
veinings were worked in solid rows of outline stitch in brown shading to
a lighter bronze green, the central vein in the upper leaf was in
chain-stitch in dark blue and the outline of leaf was carried out in two
rows of chain stitching in darkest indigo. The shamrock leaf has a
darned contour of double threads, the filling was in stem stitch, solid,
with bars of a darker colour worked across it. The little band at the
bottom of the group was a mixture of satin, chain, stem and French

[Illustration: PLATE 14]

Op. VI

The following sketch was done from bed hangings, the property of the
Earl of Powis, at Powis Castle.


The design is a bold one of big leaves worked on the usual thick white
hand-made linen. Undoubtedly the wools used were green at the time of
working, but have now changed to beautiful shades of blue to indigo.
Each leaf throughout the work has a thick contour in rope stitch of the
four shades of the wool used, and the stem is most effective, done in
squares of Cretan stitch in the same four shades.

[Illustration: PLATE 15]



This bold leaf is mainly carried out in block shading, but the colours
are unusual. Indigo for the outside edge, soft brown the central block,
and light green for the inner; in the second leaf the green is employed
only for the line of veining; the two leaves or sections on the
right-hand side are treated as follows--The upper one has outlines of
brown, between which blocks of "buttonhole" in indigo are worked, the
intervening spaces being simply decorated by a loop stitch in green
wool. The sprays are in satin stitch, which is one of the best for small
sprays to be worked solid.

[Illustration: PLATE 16]


A very handsome leaf, in the working of which many stitches are

The curved scroll at the top is carried out in block shading in blue to
pale green; the curved section on the right is marked out in squares
filled alternately with satin stitches, with a simple French knot in
each square, and by a square trellis secured in the centre by a cross
stitch; the scroll below this is outlined in crewel stitch, and filled
with laid work or strands of wool thrown across from edge to edge and
couched by back stitches at the points of intersection.

The three leaves at the root of the stem are carried out in block
shading in shades of grey green, the leaf above is outlined in crewel
stitch and filled with fancy devices worked in buttonhole stitch with
darning background; the centre motive is a solid mass of French knots,
well raised and blue in colour. I have seen this same motive carried out
in three shades, the lightest group at the point, the darkest at the

[Illustration: PLATE 17]


More fillings taken from a piece of work executed in the late 17th

I Is one of the diverse methods of treating the large tree stems in a
design. Within the fan-like outlines traced down on the linen is a solid
filling of satin stitches, varying row by row from pale fawn at the foot
to dark chestnut brown round the top, the direction of the stitches is
shewn in the drawing.

II Here we have a fancy lattice of three strands of laid wool couched
with small French knots at the intersecting points, the outline is in
stem stitch and fanciful back stitches are used as fillings.

III Has first rows of long single threads thrown across, caught down
with stars and groups of satin stitching crossed.

IV A light treatment for stems, the filling, shells in buttonhole
stitches, with second outline in darning.

V One of the examples of the introduction of lace stitches that is to be
noted in work of the late 17th century, the alternate blocks are in
basket stitch, the others in double cross stitch in contrasting colours.

VI Quaint example of couched work.

[Illustration: PLATE 18]


A collection of particularly beautiful fillings seen in a Georgian copy
of a very old example.

I Has double rows of outline stitch, framing spaces filled with stars in
back stitch, the centre being solid in shading stitch.

II Outline of rope stitch and cross trellis of the same. Stars of back
stitch couched down with contrasting wools.

III Part of a beautiful stem, outline of chain bars of button stitch in
double wool and spots in loop stitch.

IV The two small petals filled solid with stem stitch, three rows of
which are used for outlining the long petal, the centre being filled
with rings in buttonhole stitch and darned background.

V Is carried out in satin and stem stitch, with back stitch bars couched
with contrasting wool.

[Illustration: PLATE 19]



These two sketches were taken from an 18th century (?) curtain done in
solid crewel work, in somewhat bright colouring. The brown veining which
occurs in I and in nearly all the leaves was most effective; in this
plate is also shown a good example of basket stitch stem work. The acorn
cup was worked in close French knots.

II The large leaf is a good example of solid work. The contour was in
stem stitch, the serrated edges turned over on to the brown surface were
in shading stitch, the red veinings in satin stitch.

[Illustration: PLATE 20]


These two leaves are of a bold, simple character that is easy to
suggest, and proves a great relief in a design that is somewhat
over-detailed. The large one is carried out in browns and greens. The
turned over serrated edge is in satin stitch of graduating shade. The
heavy veining is somewhat unusual in that it is carried out in laid
stitch, dark green in the centre and light green outside. The stars are
worked in dark green. The outline to the lower leaf is in two shades of
green, the palest continuing to outline the remainder of the large leaf.

The small leaf is worked solid in shading stitch in blue with brown
satin stitch edge, the veining is brown as is also the contour of the
upper point.

[Illustration: PLATE 21]


We have here a large leaf very characteristic of the complicated detail
introduced by the conventional treatment of foliage in early English

The curved point of the leaf is outlined in rope stitch in a dark shade
of soft bronze green, the heavy double cross lines are in crewel stitch
and of a lighter shade of bronze in which the square lattice is also
carried out, the French knots in the centres are of a dark olive green.

The round medallion is outlined similarly to the above but in darker
shade, the centre being worked solid in slanting satin stitches set in
rows, each row taken at the opposite angle to its neighbour; the next
leaf is outlined inside, in two rows of chain, the turnover of the leaf
being solid satin stitch in three shades of green. The stem is double
back stitch, and the other leaves are worked solid in shading stitch in
graduated shades of green.

The two small leaves, I & II example: 1st, rope stitch with alternate
fillings of darning and outline stitch, and 2nd, rows of outline stitch
for one-half the back leaves and one-half grey knot stitch and blue
snail trail in alternative, the end leaf being in rows of outline of
brown colour.

[Illustration: PLATE 22]


A portion of the terra firma of the curtain.

The strawberries and clear parts of the ground are worked in French

The plants are very useful in breaking up the solid masses of dark
colour, and the stag serves to introduce into the base of the work the
colouring of the acorns above (on plates 1 and 2).

As a rule this base of a design repeats all the colourings used

[Illustration: PLATE 23]


Example of a bird introduced into the late 17th century work.

It is executed in simple feather stitch for the tail feathers and satin
stitch very evenly shaded. The dark centres of the short feathers are in
crimson, the rest in shades of buff, the breast feathers also worked in
satin stitch are in putty colour, legs and beak are brown and the crest
in crimson.

[Illustration: PLATE 24]


Quaint early example of a parrot, head in knot stitch, breast feathers
block stitch, and wings in shaded single feather stitching.

The butterfly and grub are found in all early examples.

[Illustration: PLATE 25]


Group of animals usually disporting on the terra-firma at base of large

Worked always in long and short stitch.

[Illustration: PLATE 26]


Squirrel in rich brown colour, with cream chest worked in shading
stitch, tail in overcasting for the centre and furry part in single
feather stitch with stem stitch outline.

[Illustration: PLATE 27]




By M. Jourdain. With Fifty-seven Illustrations and a Frontispiece in
colour. Cloth, foolscap 4to, 10s. 6d. net.

     "A really charming book."--_Pall Mall Gazette._

     "A godsend to collectors of antique needlework."--Sir James Yoxall,
     M.P., in _London Opinion_.

     "The author treats the subject in a fresh and stimulating manner,
     making the whole book thoroughly enjoyable and instructive reading,
     and consequently this book, coming as it does at an opportune
     moment, when art needlework shows such healthy signs of revival,
     should prove of great interest to collectors and needleworkers. The
     book is replete with a splendid selection of plates from original
     pieces in the possession of many eminent collectors."--_Art

     "A delightful book on a delightful theme, valuable alike to the
     collector, the artist-craftsman (or woman), and the womanly woman
     in the new or old-fashioned sense of the term."--_Sunday

     "To the lay reader who has never handled needle or bobbin; to the
     general reader who reads for enjoyment and has in consequence some
     nodding acquaintance with Queens like Elizabeth, Mary, known as
     bloody, and the other Mary who is not known at all; to this general
     reader such a work as Miss Jourdain's may afford a good deal of the
     leisurely enjoyment that is sought in books. He will make the
     acquaintance of Queen Elizabeth's petticoat, of the bed hangings
     that concealed or decorated the slumbers of the one Mary or the
     other."--Miss Violet Hunt in the _Daily Chronicle_.

Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co., Limited

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