Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History



  • Purse, early 17th century
    English
    Canvas worked with silk and metal thread, glass beads, spangles; Gobelin, tent, and detached buttonhole stitches; 5 1/8 x 5 1/8 in. (13 x 13 cm) excluding tassels and draw cord
    Rogers Fund, by exchange, 1929 (29.23.15)

    Small decorative purses and bags such as this one rarely appear in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century portraits, but they have survived in relatively large numbers. This example, with its lively pattern of flowers, birds, and butterflies, was executed with a generous amount of gold and silver metal thread of very high quality, worked with polychrome silk threads to create subtly shaded colors.

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  • Purse, early 17th century
    English
    Canvas worked with silk and metal thread, glass beads, spangles; Gobelin, tent, and detached buttonhole stitches; 5 1/8 x 5 1/8 in. (13 x 13 cm) excluding tassels and draw cord
    Rogers Fund, by exchange, 1929 (29.23.15)

    Macro image, magnified 30 times

    Macro image, magnified 30 times

    Macro image, magnified 30 times

    Macro image, magnified 30 times

    In this case, the gold filé has a white-silk core. The colors of the silk thread used in the silver filé correspond to the colors used in the silk-thread stitches surrounding it. The silk core contains up to four colors combined in the two-ply thread. The width of the metal strip in the gold filé is twice that of the width of the strip in the silver filé. Flattened metal coils follow this same proportion. The wire of the coils used here is both round and flattened, in both round and checked purl. The checked purl has been twisted to create a ribbed effect.

    Macro image, magnified 30 times


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