c1860 needlepoint tapestry in the medieval style 45″ x 46″
Extraordinary– and extraordinarily large– Victorian era needlepoint worked in the style of a medieval tapestry. This treasure measures about 46″ wide by 45″ high. The workmanship is exceptional: faces and hands were stitched in silk thread over a single thread of the canvas ground (often called “petit point”) and then re-embroidered to create even more detail. The background is worked in larger tent stitches (“gros point”) of tapestry wool. There are accents of gold metallic thread on the ladies’ dresses which has darkened with tarnish.
The condition is also exceptional. There is no damage to the tapestry; the only flaw I see are 4 (!) missing stitches in the upper border, and they do appear to be simply missing or unraveled, there’s no sign of moth nibbles. It’s backed with a heavy mustard fabric that has a hand-sewn strip of Velcro across the top for hanging. There is a large stain on the backing fabric which has not affected the tapestry itself. The stitching of one corner of the backing is coming loose, so you can see that a generous margin of canvas was folded under that will allow the tapestry to be refinished with new backing fabric or even framed. It’s ready to hang and enjoy as is. SOLD