Saturday 3 August 2013

Stuart Panel & Hampton Court Castle Antiques Roadshow * 28 July 2013

It is always a pleasant surprise to see textiles and embroidery on the Antiques Roadshow and so I was delighted to see this Stuart panel presented at Hampton Court Castle, Herefordshire (not to be confused with Hampton Court Palace near London).

Hilary Kay was able to supply some of the details and value the panel, which is in less than pristine condition, for between £4,000 - £6,000.

The central panel almost certainly depicts Abraham's dismissal of Hagar and their son Ishmael - dismissal being a euphemism for turning them out into the desert.

In spite of the large-eyed, cartoon-like faces, the drawings for these embroideries were professionally made.

The house or palace which is situated directly above the cartouche presents a variety of stitching techniques and includes mica pieces for the windows.

I rather like this delightfully worked lion which is placed in the outer border of the panel, all of which is scattered with small seed pearls.

It is interesting to see how the figures have been raised from the ground where the uppermost coat of stitching is missing. Here on the jaw and much of the body of the unicorn can be seen sculpted and padded under fabric - apparently linen.

This tired butterfly would have been a wonder in its hey-day with wings of applied peacock filament couched down for its wings. Sadly, the mites have done their worst.