An exceptional pair of mid-1800s Victorian face screens, with raised floral embroidery in beadwork accented by pearls. Look at our closeups. I've never seen this type of needlework trim before. The beads, yes, but not the pearls. There are gold, white and clear glass beads worked against a ground of red wood needlepoint, and the beaded portions rise in 3-D bas relief creating even more interest. The pair would have been a very expensive set in their era, and were well treasured enough to arrive in our century with their silk fringe and the silk fabric backing also intact. Carved elaborate bone handles finish them well, and I see only the replacement of the small handle mount hardware (someone's done a workaround in matching red yarn), and a few needlepoint stitches to touch back up there near the handle on one (shown very clearly in our enlarged photos. I think the pearls are not real, but those made in France in 1800s for decorative use such as this. We can see a few have collapsed, (visible in our images) but you don't notice it so much except upon very close inspection (unless you're looking at our greatly enlarged photos of it, too). We see the same on the Napoleon Empire tiaras, too. Still pearlescent here and lovely to behold. Would be fabulous framed in display, don't you agree? Face screens in Victorian times: These were used to provide visitors a hand-held protective screen so they could sit next to the warmth of hearth to visit, but would not get all blotched in the face by the direct heat of those large open fireplaces in Victorian mansions. Remember, makeup of that era had wax base, and it was also the case that not only cheeks would pink and blotch, but makeup might also melt a bit and run in direct heat. So these were essential for any well-appointed Victorian home.
Very good to excellent condition as noted above and in our photos. Intricately carved handles with open work, note missing back halves of the mounting portion, though they're nicely mounted and hold the screens well. A few of the faux pearls are collapsed, a few beads might be missing (very intricate layering to the beadwork for 3-D effect) and there are a few missing red wool needlepoint stitches that would be simple to do restoration upon. I haven't the yarn nor the time or I'd do it. But we'll offer them as they are, complete with that lush silk fringe, and you can do any slight restoration you like. Or just frame them as they are and enjoy the compliments.
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