An embroidered satin open robe, Chinese made for the European market c.1770
Fabric created c.1755-60, embroidered in imitation of a brocade with bouquets
of flowers tied with blue ribbons…
Impossibly lovely. Raspberry silk embroidered dianthus and rose buds,
variegated green foliage on green hued ivory silk, the wing cuffs
trimmed in brown fur…
A simple Indian sprigged muslin gown circa 1800
Simple draw-string to neck, empire-line bodice, horizontal tucked
bands to hem, long sleeves, embroidered in silver thread, the bodice
signed in ink `Monson’
Impossibly beautiful and unattainable items have me struggling to deconstruct the
overwhelming appeal of some objects. Is it the suggestion of another time and place,
suffused with romance? Diaphanous gauze and metallic thread? The image in my mind
of a tiny embroidered beribboned silk shoe skimming a ballroom floor?
My love of roses and rosy tones?
Even if I could afford one of those antique beauties…I would always worry about the sunlight
slowly and inexorable breaking down the silk fibers, dulling the bright embroidery…
these lovelies will be wrapped in a acid free paper, tucked in acid free boxes
into dark closets. Or in climate and light controlled museums.
So I grab my bits of rosy ribbons and scraps of embroidered silk, and
exorcise my antique textile demons…wondering what windows
I could dress with fur trimmed, floral embroidered silk curtains….
and enjoy the surprise of December roses
Other sources: Slippers (c. 1820) from Snowshill collection in Shoes and Slippers by Althea Mackenzie
Watercolor by JJ Grandville