in a minute
"antique cross stitch"
smartphone photo taken november 14, 2018
my friend @suz.the.q
gave me what she and i both thought originally to be a framed piece of tapestry. it had belonged to her aunt bea, my late mother's best friend who became like a second mother to me. (third, if you count my grandmother.) bea did a lot of traveling and collected all kinds of things she'd buy and/or receive along the way.
however, after removing the piece from its frame, closer examination revealed that it's beaded cross stitch. the back is messy but the beading is so fine, i have to think it was done with a fine wire, rather than a needle.
unfortunately, this sampler (if that's what it is) is in very bad shape. it's frail and brittle. some of the thread has rotted, and it's soiled and cannot be cleaned without disintegrating. whoever framed it didn't cover it, so it was not protected from acids, contact with other objects nor the effects of air, light, moisture, handling, etc. this might even be the condition in which bea acquired it.
i have no idea of its age nor what it depicts, but it looks old. its woven backing appears to be some type of starched, natural fiber, like jute. if it's from a kit and was doctored to be made to look antique, someone did a very convincing job.
for now, it's going into an acid-free archival sleeve with hard protection around it, until i figure out exactly what it is and learn the proper way to frame or mount and display it. (there are plenty of museums around here for me to ask.) i haven't decided yet whether i'm going to keep or sell it. but i did want to share its beauty and workmanship before packing it away.
someone did a beautiful job stitching this.
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