Cloth with Unicorns, Dragons, Other Animals, and Floral Patterns

Cloth with Unicorns, Dragons, Other Animals, and Floral Patterns

1800s

Bleached linen: needle lace, filet/lacis (knotted ground and darned in two directions) and alternating cutwork, embroidered squares, and bobbin lace edging

Overall: 113.5 x 138 cm (44 11/16 x 54 5/16 in.)

The Frances McIntosh Sherwin Collection 1936.95

Fun Fact

The two-legged dragon with a barbed tail at the corners of the lace cloth is called a wyvern.

Description

Scattered throughout this textile are depictions of both real and imaginary animals: unicorns and dragons exist alongside lions, stags, and an assortment of birds. There are also identifiable plants, flowers, and fruits as well as simply decorative or fictional ones. The maker, whose initials CM appear between the unicorns, perhaps chose to mix fantastical motifs with natural ones to create a more captivating spectacle. This large textile was perhaps meant for use as a table cover.

See also

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