Reserved: More amazing Dresden work Shadow Stitch with many fillings
I am delighted to say I have another piece of 18th Century Dresden work here, and the even more extraordinary shadow stitch. I have written a Blog about shadow stitch which you can find here on the website, and so I am not going to describe it in detail here. Enough to say that it is very strange and wonderful! You can also see the same work on a Dresden kerchief, long since sold but in the store.
I think this piece also originates from the actual town of Dresden, or nearby, because it is so fine.
An addition which is also rare, is much use of original chain stitch. Why is chain stitch so rare? Well, in the 18th Century, chain stitch was soon abandoned for tambouring, which was so much quicker and easier to work. To find original 18th Century chain stitch is a real treat!
The beautiful scrolling design and flower heads have a wealth of fillings as you would expect from the best examples - I have looked at it for hours and still find new details.
I am selling this piece for far less than I usually would, because it is a bit of a mystery. You can see I hope, that all four borders are Dresden work, and have an undulating edge, some of these being deeper than others. So I am sure that the Dresden work was originally a kerchief, just like the sold example. However, this probably mid 18th Century work has been removed from the kerchief and applied to a quite large, fine linen square, with a ladderwork border. Probably in the early 19th Century. It has been very well done, but you can see when you look closely, that the design is incomplete where it meets the linen, a sure sign that it has been re-applied.
Then there is a very odd thing about it that I cannot figure out for the life of me! Three of the sides of the square have the Dresden work facing one way, and one has it facing upside down. If it were meant to be a turn-over shawl, two sides would be face up and two sides face down. Here there is just one.
There has to be a purpose for this, but I do not know what it is. Why does just one edge turn over?
Not in perfect condition, so do please read below for faults, but for age it is doing very well! It measures approximately 30" square, and I have shown how large it looks on a mannequin. The Dresden work is approx 3.5" at deepest and 2" at most shallow.
When I first got this piece is was quite discoloured with some tiny & harsh marks, together with small holes dotted around. I eventually gave it a cold soak and it has come up really well.
The colour of the linen, which is very fine, is now beautiful. The harsh dots are now very soft, and I can see that these were the cause of the small holes to the linen. Luckily, the Dresden work is virtually untouched by this and is very good indeed.
The largest of the holes is less than half an inch and is along the ladderwork border of the linen. See photo's.
It has therefore lasted very well for age, with the embroidery in excellent condition.