An 18th century metal-thread embroidery panel

An 18th century metal-thread embroidery panel



An elaborate mid 18th century metal-thread embroidered panel, centred by two stylised pheasants either side of an openwork basket of flowers, surrounded by floral motifs against a pale pink silk ground within a strapwork cartouche, similarly the outer border of foliate decoration, flowers and birds against an off-white silk ground, all worked in a combination of gaufrure, couching and purl work.

Embroidery of this complexity was undertaken by professional workshops. The highly-skilled embroiderers had served long apprenticeships and carefully guarded their techniques. Silver and gold metal 'thread' embroidery consisted of the finest wire or wrapped silk, known as 'sewing gold' made into springy 'purl', threads and wire forming a tube or 'couching', threads woven over a padding material, to create an elaborate three-dimensional effect.


Height 56.5 cm / 22 "
Width 103 cm / 40 34"
Depth 7 cm / 3"

circa 1760




The collection of Jane Sumner