Silk hanging with embroidered tree of life

Silk hanging with embroidered tree of life


Plain weave: silk; embroidery, chain stitch: silk

Average: 228.6 x 172.7 cm (90 x 68 in.)

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Wade 1916.1358



This resplendent tree of life embroidery integrates Turkish traditions with new European styles that became increasingly fashionable during the mid-18th century. The fanciful tree projects lavish bouquets of Turkish flowers while the tree trunk is wrapped with an elaborate European-style bow, as are the meandering vines in the floral border. A professional draftsman drew the pattern with ink on the radiant yellow silk taffeta embroidered with at least 12 vibrant colors in chain stitch. It was most likely made in a professional workshop as a hanging for special occasions, a conspicuous symbol of beauty and wealth.

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