Bed Hanging (France), 1730–70
Medium: silk, metal-wrapped silk-core yarns Technique: embroidery in satin and couching stitches on plain weave foundation Label: silk embroidered with silk in satin stitch and couched metallic yarns. Gift of Anonymous Donor. 1952-166-46-a.
What is this?
Bed hangings of heavy white silk, embroidered in gold thread, gold foil strips, and colored silks. Each panel is made up of two breadths of fabric seamed down the center and is lined in white silk plain weave. The design is arranged so that golden rococo curves meet at the center seam to form a symmetrical v-shaped pattern, with flowering branches and birds, worked in satin stitch in colored silks. While the flowers are symmetrical, the birds are vertically off-set; each panel shows eleven birds, all different, which appear to be taken from a set of ornithological prints by Xaviero Manetti. Metallic effects in several textures are created with couched crimped gold lamella and couched foil-wrapped silk-core threads.