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Hand-held Fire Screen
about 1778-1780
Embroiderer:Attributed to Prudence Punderson , American, 1758 - 1784
Embroidery; silk thread on a plain-woven silk ground, wood
Primary Dimensions (height x width): 15 3/4 x 10 7/8in. (40 x 27.6cm)
Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. J. Chandlee Ergood
Description: Fire screen consisting of a shaped plain-woven silk screen decorated with hand-stitched silk embroidery and supported by a hand-held wooden handle. The firescreen is worked in dark, medium and light blue, dark green, pink, green, white, brown, and black on a plain-woven dark green silk ground (badly faded), using satin stitch and other stitches. One side of the firescreen is decorated with two sheep surrounded by a circular wreath or grapes, or berries, and leaves on a vine. The opposite side is decorated with twelve sprays of flowers on a short stem. The firescreen is constructed of a stiff board, or paper, between the two green silk sides of the screen; these layers are joined at the edge by a hand-stitched, light blue, bias-cut fabric binding. The wooden handle is constructed of a single piece of wood with a slit to support the screen; the top of the handle is tied together with a yellow ribbon to keep the screen joined to the handle. Stitches: The principal stitch on the firescreen is satin; it also includes encroaching satin, outline and flat. Condition: The firescreen is badly faded, both the ground, binding, and the silk thread. Each top corner is bent slightly. There are several very small holes in each side of the firescreen.
Source Note: The embroidered sheep on the firescreen are probably based on an image found in The Artists Vade-Mecum published by Robert Sayer in London in 1776. (Hunt 3/6/2007)
Object Number: 1976.4.0
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