17th Century Stumpwork Needlework Silk Embroidery


  • £2,250
  • €2,603 Euro
  • $2,925 US Dollar

United Kingdom

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17th Century Stumpwork Needlework Silk Embroidery

A very fine circa 1690 to 1720 ecclesiastical embroidery upon finest woven silk that just GLOWS. This exceptional devotional embroidery was wrought by a professional embroiderers workshop; this complex embroidery is not the work of talented amateur. We see the use of a plethora of different silk stitching techniques and also a myriad of gold metallic threads including various gold passing techniques (a core thread tightly wrapped with a thin strip of metal), smooth purl (coils of flat plate) and rough purl (coils of round wire) see around Christ's halo.

The oval central cartouche is the WOW factor here. It is a scarce example being a depiction in needlework of Salvator Mundi, one is more used to this subject being depicted in paintings by Jan Van Eyk, Albrecht Durer and the recently discovered Leonard Da Vinci version. Salvator Mundi, is the Latin word for Saviour of the World. We see a radiating sun enclosing a depiction of Christ who is holding an Orb in his left hand. He has his right hand raised in blessing. The orb is surmounted by a cross, this cross is known as a Globus Cruciger and was also used in Royal regalia along with a sceptre. The detail in this embroidery is phenomenal being all worked in silk and metal threads, the Globus Cruciger has real little seed pearls worked into the design!!

This embroidered composition is beautifully balanced. We see at the very top a silver thread embroidered and heavily spangled Holy Spirit who is floating within the all seeing eye. To each corner we see flower head vignettes consisting of satin stitch Carnations and Iris - both holy symbolic flowers that were very popular in needlework pictures during the 16th and 17th centuries. Three individual winged angels surround the central cartouche, each heavily embroidered in silk and metal thread to create a raised work or stumpwork, 3D effect. Flanking the cartouche are the wooden cross with the word INRI embroidered within. To the right side we see a large heavily embroidered/ wrapped couch stitch temple column. At the bottom we see the Lamb of God (Agnus Dei) who is equally resplendent being wrought in textural seed stitch.

Later framed in a good modern gilt frame behind glass.

Size: Frame height 22" (56 cm), Width 23.5" (60 cm). Aperture height 18.75" (47.5 cm), Width 20.25" (51.5 cm). Weight 3.8 kg

Condition: Very good for its 300 plus years but not perfect. Some small holes to the original silk ground. Some minor bleeding to the dyes of some of the silk floral designs. Some loose metal threads but overall the metal threadwork is bright and crisp. When re-framed, it would seem that plastic tags were used to attached the needlework to the backing board, these tiny tags can be seen along the bottom. This is a large, heavy picture please see shipping details.

FREE Shipping to mainland UK, mainland EU and mainland USA only, other countries please enquire prior to purchase. Any import fees, duties, local taxes are the buyer's responsibility.


  • H: 56cm (22.05in)
  • W: 60cm (23.62in)



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