English Silk Needleworks, ca. 1820
I traded some pieces of Royal Bayreuth china to a friend of mine who had found these at a garage sale in California, and she wasn't interested in primitives but liked my china that I didn't care for.
Okay. They're early 19th-century needlework, and when you look at needlework, one of the easy markers is costume. So when you look at him, he's got a hunting suit on with a top hat. He's wearing long pants and a frock coat. So all that's very helpful to us in telling us it's probably the 1820s, 1830s at the latest. All of us at the folk art table have looked at it, and we cannot come to a conclusion as to where it was made. My suspicion is that they're English. It's silk on silk, which makes it extremely fragile. I love these, we never see them in a pair, but condition is our tough one here. You can see there's a lot of water staining around there, some losses. The framing is not quite what you want to see, okay? The fabric's right up against the glass. You really want to reframe these, because they definitely deserve it. But the real problem that you have is they're nailed to the stretcher. So as we would traditionally take something off a stretcher, clean it and put it back on, that'd be very difficult with something like this. Having said that, they are absolutely exquisite in terms of the scene-- he's hunting, she's sitting with the animals, kind of like he kills them, she loves them-- and if they came up at auction, I think you'd feel real good about giving up your china, because I think they would easily sell for about $5,000.
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