Thursday, March 1, 2012

Leopard embroidery


In another portrait at Hampton Court
(No. 349), attributed by some to the artist
Taddeo Zucchero, the queen wears a fancy-
dress, consisting of a long, loose robe, em-
broidered all over in colours, with stems of
roses, pansies and other flowers, and birds.
Her right hand rests on the head of a stag,
and in one of the lower corners of the picture
are some verses, conjectured to be of the
queen's own composition.

A portrait in the possession of the Mar-
quess of Salisbury at Hatfield House is
quainter still. The robe of the queen is
embroidered all over with human eyes and
ears, symbolical, no doubt, of the vigilance and
wisdom of the illustrious wearer.

There is in the Victoria and Albert
Museum (No. 173, 1869), a loose tunic with
long sleeves, dating from the reign of Eliza-
beth. It is of cream-white silk, with em-
broidery in silver-gilt and silver thread and
silks of various colours. The flowers (roses,
honeysuckle, lilies, and pansies) are enclosed
within scrolls arranged in formal compart-
ments. A tunic of similar form (No. 919,
1873) is in a less costly material, being of
linen ; the materials used for the embroidery
are the same as in the previous case.

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