Wax, Straws and Gum,
Silks, Gems, and Gold, the total sum
Of rich materials she disposed
In dainty order, and composed
Pictures of men, birds, beasts, and flowers,
When leisure served at idle hours.
All this so rarely to the Life,
As if there were a kind of strife,
‘Twixt Art and Nature: Trees of fruits
With leaves, boughs, branches, body, roots,
She made to grow in Winter time,
Ripe to the eye, easy to climb.

John Bathchiler, “The Virgin’s Pattern”


Early 17th-century woman's jacket, shown being worn in the Portrait of Margaret Layton, attributed to Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger and displayed alongside it. V&A.

Woman’s coif embroidered in Blackwork, English, early 17th century. V&A.

Pair of gloves, 1630-50. V&A.

Purse, early 17th century English, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Christopherson, Historia Ecclesiastica. Lovanii, 1569. From English Embroidered Bookbindings (see below).

Clicking on the pictures in the Gallery will take you to their Internet webpage and further information.

Resources and Suppliers

A Schole-House for the Needle, Richard Shorleyker.  (1632). Over 60 Illustrations of lace and embroidery patterns from the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries with an historical background by Santina M. Levey. Available directly from Elizabeth Mason.

English Embroidered Bookbindings,  Cyril Davenport. (1899) (Online)


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