This is a c.1830s hand worked sampler in wool and silk yarns, very early Victorian needlepoint. The figural representation is of 2 young women sharing a letter, obviously a love letter. The special box it's arrived in might suggest it is a proposal. Quite often these needlepoints have been "after" a painting. But at listing, I'm not finding it. "The Letter" is a theme often painted, and represents all manner of emotion from love to loss to anticipation and sadness. In this, it is certainly young love, isn't it.
Very good to excellent condition for age and type. No tears or holes. A wonderful panel, still on original stretcher and in fine condition for framing. This one is probably supple enough to be worked up as a pillow top, the yarns are heavy and sturdy, and nothing about it seems fragile as is often the case with the old ones made to frame and hang. I've photographed the back so you can see the stitches, all entirely done by hand of course, and the old original vibrant colors of the yarns. Normally the exposed front does fade over many decades, and you can see some fading of the original vibrant yarns. The palette as it displays now is elegant and, in my opinion, much prettier than the brighter original. As it is, on stretcher, 15.5" x 13.5".
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