It is with amusement that I look at this woolwork. The irony of it may well appeal to many when we consider that this very large piece encompasses everything it meant to be a Victorian in the 19th century. How times change!
This large piece is presented in as a tableau or stage scene with tasselled curtains and garlands.
We have Britannia surmounting the world, with spear and shield, looking forward with purpose, flanked by flags of her dominion.
A rather languid recumbent sailor rests beneath and various ships are shown sailing the seas.
Beneath is a blue silk ribbon, perhaps representing the sea with a silk red rose of England at either end. To complete this extravagant portrayal two plaited beaded sections decorate the top and bottom of the piece.
Rarely does one come across such a woolwork of such detail that allows us into the mind set of the Victorians.
This work must have taken a very long time to design and complete. The stitching is fine and varied, and in good condition for such a piece. There is some deterioration in some areas as one would expect, and a small amount of colour run. The colours overall are muted, with many shades of brown and beige. The lighter colours as in the curtains would have been brighter originally as they were striped in blue and pink, though now sadly light faded.
On its’ original stretcher and In its original maple frame, slip and glass. The frame has some age related faults.
Frame: 31” x 24” 79 cms x 61 cms
Sight: 26” x 18” 66 cms x 46 cms