Mirror with Jael and Barak

Date: 1672

Culture: British

Medium: Satin worked with silk and metal-wrapped thread, beads, purl, mica, seed pearls; detached buttonhole variations, long-and-short, satin, couching, and straight stitches; wood frame, celluloid imitation tortoiseshell, mirror glass, silk plush

Dimensions: 28 3/4 x 23 3/4 in. (73 x 60.3 cm)

Classification: Textiles-Embroidered

Credit Line: Purchase, Mrs. Thomas J. Watson Gift, 1939

Accession Number: 39.13.2a

Description

The embroidered decoration of this mirror frame was derived from a printed source such as an illustrated Bible and features a composition similar to that of a decorative title page. The biblical characters Jael and Barak, flanking the mirror glass, appear in the book of Judges. The frame is surmounted by a figure of Charity; animals, mythic and actual, symbolizing the Four Continents, occupy the corners (from upper left): a griffin representing Africa, a basilisk representing America, a stag representing Europe, and a camel for Asia.

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