November 22, 2019

In our previous post, we discussed the difficulties in dating a piece of embroidery and explored the use of color as a technique to meet that goal. In this post, we will examine the images on the cushion cover for clues about the date of this piece.

There are a surfeit...

August 15, 2019

To determine the accuracy of the date, we examine the information the cushion itself provides: the materials used and images selected. The ground cloth is a plain weave silk satin.  While the type of material does not assist in dating the cushion cover, the distinctive...

August 15, 2019

The known details about this cushion cover are limited.  It 50cm x 67cm, was donated to MFA Boston in the mid-20th century by Elizabeth Day McCormick.  It has no other provenance, though a lot of hints about it’s time and place of origin, which we will explore in futur...

July 8, 2019

This gorgeous if somewhat faded cushion cover from the Museum of Fine Arts Boston is an enigma.  If you were looking at this piece passively in a museum, you might notice the imagery first: a woman sitting on a hillock looking in a mirror, stags, flowers…  Or you might...

May 23, 2019

As researchers, we spend a lot of our time accessing collections at a variety of institutions: libraries, national museums, local museums, archives.  It can be a challenge to access artifacts not on display, especially when the institution has gone to the effort of dig...

January 3, 2019

We are both proud to be a part of a special group: the Valley Quail Chapter of the Embroiderer’s Guild of America.  This chapter, based in California, just celebrated our 35th anniversary and is a group of dedicated and talented needleworkers that have fostered some am...

September 28, 2018

Women are often dismissed in many arenas, their accomplished overlooked or ignored, and yet we know that women make up half the world’s population and contribute a huge amount of good and productivity to that world.  We think about embroidery as one of these things.


September 7, 2018

Women’s caps, properly called coifs, are a fascinating, functional little item of clothing.  We’re not talking baseball caps or even those darling hats from the 1940’s. We’re talking Tudor-era caps.

We spell it coif (as in the French “coiffure” meaning hairdressing), bu...

August 20, 2018

Colors are fashionable -- meaning, that they are impacted by the fashion of a moment.  We see that from our own time and we see it historically.  During the 1970’s in the United States, you could buy a kitchen appliance in Avocado Green or Harvest Gold and that was abo...

July 25, 2018

If you’re in England, you see them everywhere.  The Tudor Rose is an incredibly prevalent image in political and historical iconography. From Hampton Court Palace to the local pub sign, Tudor Roses can be found on architecture, signage, heraldry --  if you just look, y...

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