Arthur 1995

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Arthur, Liz. Embroidery 1600-1700 at the Burrell Collection. London: John Murray, 1995.

Broderers' Company, granted its charter in 1561

  • John Parr, embroiderer to Queen Elizabeth and King James VI, I
  • Edmund Harrison, Court Embroiderer to James VI and I, Charles I and Charles II; was Warden of the Broderers' Company and embroidererd masque costumes for the court and liveries for court officials (21)
    • commissioned by sir William Howard to produce panels with scenes from the life of the Virgin Mary; signed and dated 1637 (two at Royal Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh, one in V&A Museum, one in fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge) (22)

Sir Giles Goosecap, anonymous pay published in 1606; describes liveliness of professionally-embroidered materials (24)

Broderers' Company petition of 1634 states the profession is in a state of decary; professional embroiderers having a hard time finding work (25)

professional drawers

"The draughtsman would use a fine quill pen to draw the outline of the design in black ink on either fine linen canvas or thick white silk satin. Sometimes watercolour was used to indicate shading and facial features. Such assured control of ink and watercolour on absorbent textiles would have been almost impossible for the amateiur to achieve." (30)

emblem books widely used as a source -- more so than pattern books -- E. Geoffrey Whitney's A Choice of Emblems and other devices (1586)

"Embroidery, involving sitting with the head bowed, could also be equated with piety and was seen as a suitably quiet occupation for women" (36)

Pl. 19, book cover made as a pin-cushion

Pl. 27, plants worked from herbals called "slips"

cutwork; cutting out threads; "Paper or vellum was often stitched to the back of the fabric to support this grid wile the final row was being worked but this was removed when the design was complete." (60)

earliest embroidery pattern books contain designs for cutwork

  • Federigo de Vinciolo's New and singular patternes and workes of linnen
  • Johann Sibmacher's patterns, published in Nuremberg in 1601, copied widely
  • over 150 books of needlework published in England between 1620s and end of the century
  • Shorleyker's pattern book emphasizes cutwork on title page

Pl. 79, casket worked on paper rather than satin

"Although the designs for these caskets were sold as standard sets their interpretation was achieved by the choice of stitches and colours, and it is possible on several pieces, where the drawing is exposed, to see how much the final result differs from the form originally outlined." (68)

many engravings used are after paintings by the Martin de Vos, "which inspired 17th-century needlewomen to show their skill." (79)

illustrations of New Testament stories "were thought to smack of popery" -- so Old Testament stories were used (88)

Charlotte Mayhew, survey shows Esther and Ahasuerus is the most commonly found subject in embroidered picture (92)

study pieces "in their widest cultural, social and political context and not simply as the chance product of leisured young women" (92)

"Illustrated broadsheets probably provided the basic design for many of these embroideries. They were sold separately or in sets of four or six and advertisements were produced listing the various designs available." (99)

needles (113)