Tuesday 8 May 2012

The Bourne Casket - Lancashire Museums

Lancashire Museums have a beautiful example of a late Stuart embroidered casket - The Bourne Casket - which you can see open here, showing all the drawers and compartments. There are three small and one long drawer all fronted with beautiful salmon silk-velvet edged with similar ribbon. Inside is the original fitted mirror in a recessed panel. But the real excitement comes within hidden lower compartment. It contains  a small box within which is an acorn from the Boscobel Oak covered in silk embroidery and silver-gilt brocade!
The casket has its own carrying case thought to be of pine. It is covered with a hand-painted floral design paper whichis probably of a later date.
On the lid is an embroidered panel depecting Rebecca at the well. This is a lovely spouting fountain, a regular sight on Stuart panels - as is the castle beyond.
On one side is  Joseph leading Mary on a Donkey.
On the back is Abraham sacrificing Isaac. Below you can see the other side panel which portrays the meeting of Solomon with the Queen of Sheba. For more details, click here.


  1. How wonderful. I've just downloaded the first lesson in Tricia's casket class, so this is very appropriate.

    Thanks Jacqueline.


  2. What a pity the acorn isn't shown!
    All done in L&S stitch and wonderful colour use and animals. A really nice snail

  3. It is a pity about that acorn! Marjan, I am so excited to see your casket - you have a magic eye and needle!

  4. Gorgeous, just gorgeous!! Imagine having that beauty on your dressing table!! I wonder if they were kept in a bedroom, or out on show so visitors could admire the young ladies skills with their needle?

  5. I have also just downloaded the first lesson in the Cabinet of Curiousities Class. Yesterday I was reading about caskets of this design and where the secret draws are. I looked at the pictures of this casket with fresh eyes :-) I like the floral and fauna around the frieze.

  6. I had a feeling Stuart, and further back Tudor sewing boxes almost resembled a jewelry like casket. With muliple compartments and small enough for travel. Considering a nobles sewing kit was probably expensive, Its nice to see my theory is true. Its amazing working with the time peroid how one can get a sense of how things were used. Though that took 8 years to get my theories right.
    Thanks for posting this, now to find something similar to for my sewing implements.

  7. This casket is beautiful. I wouldn't mind one myself.