Monday Treasure – Unfinished Needlework

My unfinished needlework...
My unfinished needlework...

I think we probably all have at least one unfinished piece sitting around our house waiting for us.

But to find an unfinished piece from the past is actually quite rare (heirs and spouses often don’t keep our unfinished work).

This Monday I’ve got an amazing piece of partially finished work from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York to show you. These are the pieces for an unfinished stumpwork cabinet. They raise more questions for me about the construction of said cabinet than they answer. The pieces are stitched on one piece of fabric, very close together. They are intended to be cut apart and applied to a wooden cabinet as so many stumpwork pieces are. But there isn’t any space to wrap them around… how were they applied? Glue? gimp and finishing nails?

The finished casket above can be seen in detail here. There are many closeups and different views of it.

In any case, it is a wonderful opportunity to see a work in progress. They have other caskets online that have been finished, so you can imagine what this would look like finished!


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4 Responses to Monday Treasure – Unfinished Needlework

  1. Given the narrow bits between panels I suspect that these were cut out and then appliqued to a lighter weight cloth. The lighter weight and probably less expensive cloth was then laced and/or glued onto the panels that make up the chest.

    The braiding along the edges of this chest could well disguise the applique work:

    But this is total conjecture without a shred of actual evidence to back me up. 🙂 -k.

    • It’s interesting conjecture, though. And based on a long history of research on your part, I’m guessing. 🙂 I’m honored that you’re reading my blog, Kim. I love your Carolingian Modelbook, and still feel very lucky to have found a copy at a needlework shop in LosAngeles years ago! Your research is much appreciated!

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