Friday, 5 September 2014

Burrell Collection and other stumpworks ......

Stumpwork and 17th century embroidery generally being my favourite historical style I was very excited to finally get to the Burrell Collection. This is a collection of over 8,000 objects gifted to the city of Glasgow by Sir Edward Burrell in 1944.
            Although a small part of the collection, the embroidery on display was exquisite. The wonderful part was being able to get really close and to take pictures. There is alot of reflection but I did think it was worth putting some of the photos up. A very inspiring day out.
         I would also recommend a visit to The Ashmolean Museum in Oxford to see The Eye of the Needle. This is displaying a small amount of the Feller Collection specifically their 17th century works with some of the museums own collection. Be quick, this finishes on October 12 2014.
       While you are in Oxford then you really should make a quick visit to Witney Antiques. They sell original stumpwork and 17th century embroideries. A little out of my price range but wonderful to dream. Do call first to check opening and they are also happy to take group visits. They sell catalogues of their antiques with very clear photography so any students of stumpwork should really try and get hold of them.
A wonderful stumpwork castle with buttonholed slips and mica windows.

Stumpwork fruit tree with buttonholed leaves. Notice how all the leaves have a silk floss embroidered leaf behind it. 

A shining mica fountain with a coloured grotto behind. The grotto seems to be made up of thin metal plate which has been wrapped in silk thread and then couched down in a pattern. 

Canvas work slip and the couching line around. 

Wonderful wire hair on Susannah. c. 1630-1660

Silk thread couched in loops to give texture.

King Solomon with a crown of beads and pearls.

A wonderful wild boar stitched with a metal passing in what looks like long and short stitch which is hard enough in silk so it's amazing to see it in metal. A three dimensional ear and a beady eye. I think was my favourite embroidery detail.

A silk shaded butterfly with a metal effect body. This shimmering thread I have seen on quite a few stumpworks and I think it may be peacock feathers. They are known to be used. 

Fantastic use of metal threads in this hairpiece. This stumpwork is from a professional workshop. you can see it has a refinement the others perhaps don't.

A basket made of beads c.1675. 63 cms wide !!!


  1. What beautiful work, those faces and hair are simply astonishing. It is heartwarming to know that these pieces of embroidery are held in such high esteem so long after they were worked. Although not in the same league, I often wonder what will happen to the pieces of embroidery I have worked after I have left this world.

    1. I agree Elaina, I always initial my larger embroideries now. They will be around for alot longer than us.

  2. Thankyou so much for sharing these wonderful photos

    1. You are welcome. Thank you so much for supporting my blog, very much appreciated.

  3. So enjoy looking at stumpwork