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Queen Anne Floral Embroidery (detail)
Queen Anne Floral Embroidery

English, 1700–1710

While many extraordinary textiles passed through the hands of Cora Ginsburg in her years in the field of antique textiles, certain pieces she kept to form her private collection. This Queen Anne embroidered small coverlet in pristine condition, with its sinewy yet graceful lines and precise execution, exemplifies Cora’s passion, and extremely knowing eye, for eighteenthcentury English needlework.

Fanciful leaves and flowers, characteristically displaying the taste in English decorative arts of the period for Eastern influenced design, expand from the hillocks at the panel’s lower edge. Silk embroideries of the Queen Anne period often exhibit a subtle yet rich palette—here the embroidery, in shades of green, yellow and pink, reveals highly sophisticated and technically masterful gradations of colors, particularly as seen in the various shapes of leaves. The false quilted ground, a distinguishing feature of Queen Anne embroidery, occurs in delicate scrolling curls, rather than more typical geometric designs of diamonds or circles, adding to the fluidity of this exceptional needlework.

The coverlet was included in “A Schole House for the Needle,” an exhibition of needlework collected by Cora Ginsburg, held at Benjamin Ginsburg Antiquary, New York, in 1979, where its beauty was seen then, as it is now, as a hallmark of eighteenth-century English embroidery.

39” H x 41.5” W

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