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Culture: English
Canvaswork Picture
1637-1643
Embroiderer:Attributed to Elizabeth Gore , English
Embroidery; silk and silver-wrapped silk thread; plain-woven linen; wood, glass and metal hardware; ink and paper
Primary Dimensions (approximate height x width unframed): 4 3/4 5 1/2 in. (14 x 12.1 cm) Primary Dimensions (height x width framed): 7 3/16 x 7 15/16in. (18.3 x 20.2cm)
Credit Line: Gift of Louise Harvey Guion and Elizabeth Kingsley Harvey
Gallery Copy: Flowers, grapes, peapods, and birds fill the space of this small framed panel, which probably began life as a cushion cover. This piece was saved, preserved, and transformed from a functional object to a framed artwork and probable teaching model, by nine generations of female descendants. Its survival tells the story of how needlework techniques and motifs were transferred and circulated through families and kinship networks.
Description: Canvaswork panel, framed as a picture, worked in silver and multi-colored wool threads in very fine tent stitch, depicting flowers, fruits, and birds. The flowers include a carnation (also called a "gilly flower" in the period) at center bottom, and a stylized iris at center top, flanked by birds. On the outer edges of the design are grapes and what appear to be pea pods, along with more stylized flowers and another bird in the lower left corner. The stems of the flowers are worked in lacy stitches with the silver thread, while the background is covered with silver threads in a herringbone pattern. The once-vibrant colors of the wool are now faded to shades of beige, olive, and bluish-green. The picture is encased within a double frame: the original black wood frame, which has a gold inner edge, and a plain outer frame of black wood. The outer frame is glazed on both sides, so that the paper backing of the early backboard is visible, with its inscription. The top of the outer frame is screwed with two gold-tone metal loops for hanging, while the bottom of the frame has two small eye screws for fastening to the framed copy of the inscription (2003.8.2a,b).
Inscription: Inscriptions on the back (reproduced incorrectly on 2003.8.2a,b) are written in at least 3 different hands. Hand 1: "For/ Mrs Martha Hubbard/ New London"; inserted in the above, in a different, probably later hand: "1700 / In her home (?)". Hand 2: "This piece was wrought by/ Elizabeth [Gore] in England / who after She arrived in New England/ marryed [sic] one Gager. She was Great/ Grandmother to Lydia Coit. She came/ from England 'in ye time of ye persecution'" Hand 3: "Mrs. Martha Hubbard's maiden name was/ Coit. She lived in Boston. Lydia Coit/ married William Hubbard./ It was given to Lydia Coit Kingsley; then/ to her son William L. Kingsley, of New/ Haven; and is now owned by his daughter/ Elizabeth Kingsley Farnam."
Object Number: 2003.8.1a,b
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