Needlework Pictures

The seventeenth century produced some of the most beautiful and intriguing needlwork pictures, caskets mirror frames and similar objects ever made. Many feature raised stumpwork and representations of people – biblical characters, popular characters from moral stories, and even royalty. These little figures give us an insight not just into the skill of the people who made these amazing objects, but also into the fashions of the period. At a time when English portraiture was particularly flighty in its representations of fashionable dress, other visual sources that show us what people were wearing in their day to day lives are very useful. Needlework pictures also offer an additional insight. In each surviving work, we get to learn a little about the individual tastes and aesthetic ideals of the makers, often young girls and teenagers.

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