Delightful Regency era Aerophane & Chenille embroidered reticule
Aerophane is a gorgeous soft silk chiffon, applied to the surface of fabric so that it stands proud, and is thus perfect for floral embroidery. Add aerophane to Chenille silk thread work, and we are certainly in the Regency period.
The silk braid work you see around the edge is very often seen decorating Regency bonnets.
When I first saw this beautiful reticule, I was quite sure that it dated to the c1830's 'Romantic Era'. And it may do! However, I checked 'Eighteenth Century Embroidery Techniques', Gail Marsh, and found an almost identical embroidery on Page 164/2006, same materials & satin ground, dating to 1780 - 1800. So it could be quite a bit earlier.
The entire piece is in lovely fresh condition with a few small flaws [see below] and makes a very pretty picture, with a different embroidered scene on each side, and a tiny motif embroidered on the flap, which closes with a single button & loop.
However, the closure does have it's own interest, which I have not seen before - the edge is boned! A very slight bone [or wood] enclosed to keep this very soft purse very practical for the lady using it.
The interior is fine silk and almost all white now, but look around the edges and we see that originally it was a lovely Georgian pink.
The reticule has it's original ribbon 'handle' with a bow at each side.
A really lovely and romantic artefact.
In my opinion, the whole piece is in beautiful condition for age, with just these small points to note:
* The ribbon 'handle' is creased at the centre and I have not attempted to iron it, knowing how delicate it will be.
* Although in daylight the cream satin appears very clean, my camera flash has picked up very soft underlying age spotting. Of no consequence in my opinion.
* The embroidery colours are still good, but I am sure they would have been brighter originally. But the embroidery condition everywhere is fabulous!