CHINTZ APPLIQUÉ PANELS
British, fourth quarter of the 18th c.
These four appliqué panels, with their vibrant displays of flowers stemming from footed vases and a cornucopia, reflect the taste for chinoiserie-inspired motifs throughout eighteenth-century European decorative arts. For needleworkers of past centuries, household objects of great beauty were often constructed with fabrics that remained in a workbasket from previous projects. Having both European printed cottons and painted-and-dyed Indian Export cloths at hand, the embroiderer of these panels cut tulips, roses, carnations, and exotic flowers from valued fragments. The cottons used—which span the decades from the mid- to the late-eighteenth century when the panels where made—retain their rich colors and printed details.
To form these floral arrangements, individual cotton flowers, buds and stems were applied onto a linen ground in a technique later known as broderie perse. Buttonhole stitching, sometimes in contrasting colors of embroidery threads, outlines and emphasizes the motifs. While flower baskets of this type are often seen in eighteenth-century needlepoint, these panels represent an early use of chintz appliqué which is more associated with works from the nineteenth century in both England and America where appliqué quilts became highly fashionable. In the four arrangements, with their variations on this popular needlework form, flowers from disparate cloths are combined into delicate and charming bouquets.
Approx. 16” H x 16” W each