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Apron
about 1730-1740
Embroiderer:Possibly embroidered by Mary Pierpont , American, 1703 - 1740
Embroiderer:Possibly embroidered by Mary Russell , American, born 1720
Conservator:Conserved by Textile Conservation Center at the American Textile History Museum , American
Embroidery; silk thread, metallic thread, plain-woven silk
Primary Dimensions (height x width of apron): 20 1/2 x 34in. (52.1 x 86.4cm) Primary Dimensions (height x width of frame): 24 3/4 x 38 1/4in. (62.9 x 97.2cm)
Credit Line: Gift of Rebecca and Cornelia Butler
Gallery Copy: The colors and curving designs of this apron are controlled by careful symmetry: each flower, leaf, vine, and bowknot is precisely balanced on the opposite side of the center axis. The drawstring used to attach the apron at the waist remains in place in the casing at the top. In contrast to today’s utilitarian use of aprons, eighteenth-century aprons were stylish accessories for middle and upper-middle-class women and were worn over an open robe gown. The finely woven silk ground and expert stitching suggest that this apron was professionally embroidered, imported from England as a finished article, and worn by its owner in the Connecticut Valley.
Description: Silk apron worked in gold and silver metallic thread and in red, pink and light pink, dark medium and light green, dark medium and light blue, purple, yellow, and white silk threads on a plain-woven cream silk ground, using satin stitch and other stitches. The apron is rectangular, oriented horizontally. The center of the apron has a spray of flowers with an elongated wreath to either side, over a small spray of flowers. The apron has a group of flowers in each lower corner that extends across the bottom and up the sides of the apron. The apron is constructed of a single panel of plain-woven silk, with a narrow hem at the left and right edge and a selvedge at the bottom edge. The top edge of the apron has a hem and a draw string. Stitches: The principal stitch on the apron is satin; it also includes long and short, roumanian (oriental), couching, and french knot. Condition: The ground is lightly stained and has several areas of shattering and loss. The silver metallic thread is tarnished. The apron has been stitched to a panel of gauze and mounted on plexiglass, held in a muslin-lined frame. Sheer gauze covers the portions of the ground that are in the worst condition.
Object Number: 1859.9.0
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