c1850 Beaded Needlepoint on Perforated Paper

This unusual piece of needlepoint history features solidly beaded needlepoint on perforated paper, also known as Bristol Board, with accents of shiny silk floss and textured silk chenille thread. It could be American or English. As was typical, the paper background is left unworked. This was most likely worked from a pattern in a publication such as Godey’s Ladies Book or a “leporello” or accordian-style tiny pattern book; it’s classic early “Berlinwork” and much daintier than the coarse woolwork of later decades.

The “frame” is also lovely and unusual–  I think it may have been part of a music stand originally. It’s heavy board covered with metallic paper and trims. The perforated paper needlepoint is trimmed to fit and simply laid in place, so it could be easily removed and re-framed, but I’d love to see it in a shadowbox frame as is.

The perforated paper measures 10-7/8″ by 9″ with the frame measuring 12″ by 9-3/4″. There is no glass. The needlepoint is in very good condition with only a few minor spots or marks; the glass and steel cut beads have retained their brilliant colors, and while the silks have faded (the last picture shows the reverse) the overall effect is still very pleasing. This is a lovely and delicate memento of the past.