Saturday 27 April 2013

The Stoke Edith Tapestries

Once thought to have been worked by five successive wives of one of the Foley gentlemen in the 18th century, these stunning tapestries are from a set of three - only two of which have published images. Belonging to the Foley family, they were first loaned to the National Trust by Mrs Paul Foley, and then accepted by the government in lieu of death duties for keeping at the Victoria and Albert Museum. This first tapestry is called The Orangery Garden.

The orangery was but a miniature of the house itself, which you can see above.
The panel above is called The Alcove Garden and is remarkable for the shadows cast by the living cast depicted there. The panels are executed in tent stitch using a mixture of fine wool and silk on a single mesh canvas. The third panel, not shown, depict6s a meeting between Aeneas and Achates with Venus disguised as a huntress and is copied from a 17th century edition of the Aeneid. The panels are all large - they measure 11 feet in height which means high ceilings. If your ceiling isn't quite that high, then maybe a replica tea towel is for you. These tea-towels are currently on sale from Museum Selection - 2 for £3.99. Click here for more details.

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