The society silk style of
embroidery began as a past time in England long before it came to America.
For some women it eventually became a way to earn a living from home.
Perhaps the original American cottage industry, fine silk embroideries could be
produced at home and then sold as lots to linen houses for sale in a wider
market. "Society silk" is a popular reference to the Royal Society of
Embroidery that produced the silk floss, embroidery patterns and promoted the
cottage industry of embroidery of finer pieces. Additionally, they promoted embroidery
"clubs" that fostered friendly competition between members to produce the finest
work. This glorious piece of embroidery came from that period and
represents the very best of technique, materials and design.
Everyone had roses. She wanted to
be different. Better. The best. So she chose
poppies for her subject...not red, not romantic, and not thorny. Just wild and
beautiful. Giant reddish orange ("poppy red") poppies as big as my hand
dance around the border of this magnificent piece in all stages of bloom from
bud to seed. The thoughtful but random and realistic nature of the design
are hallmarks of this wonderful style.
Delicate shading and attention to depth
and direction are perfected here in a passionate and skilled effort. Minor
age will not detract, I assure you. A minor small hole or two near the
edge are hardly noticed. Breaks in the lace, both shown below, could be
repaired or ignored.
Freshly laundered and pressed, in excellent vintage condition. c.1890 - 1910
39" including lace