Thursday, March 1, 2012

Mute Swan embroidery design

Mute Swan

At this critical period of our national
history, the playfulness which characterized
so many productions of the time is remark-
able. Soldiers who made the name of Eng-
land respected abroad, wrote the quaintest
poetry at home. The language of the court
succumbed to the general tendency, and its
euphuistic affectations fitted well with the sen-
timents it was employed to express. Design,
too, did not escape. The ordered patterns
of the earlier time give place to a medley of
wandering stems with columbines, pansies,
carnations, roses, tulips, honeysuckle, straw-
berries, acorns, animals, birds, fishes, butter-
flies, and insects.

The numerous portraits of Elizabeth in
the National Portrait Gallery, at Hampton
Court, in noblemen's houses, and elsewhere
illustrate the extent to which embroidery was
used for costume decoration, and the style of
design in vogue. Sometimes she wears a
jacket with the favourite " black work " already
referred to. A half-length portrait at Hamp-
ton Court (No. 6 1 6) is a good example. The
sleeves are embroidered with roses, carnations,
grapes, and strawberries.

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