Sunday, November 29, 2015

My 17th c Inspired Stumpwork Flemish Box

 Dutch Tulips & Glittering Gold Scrolls 
 If you love 17th c embroidery & embroidered caskets, you will have no doubt come across at least one or two Flemish cabinets in your studies. They are unique in their construction and typically set up on tall floor stands. The cabinets are made of ebonized hardwoods with elaborate embroidered or lacquered interior decorations. This type of cabinet comes from Flanders, the area of the Southern Netherlands in the late 16th to 17th centuries~ from cities such as Bruges, Ghent, Kortrijk, Antwerp, Leuven & Brussels (just to name a few).  I have always admired Dutch art and textiles~ the scrolling motifs are so unique...and the tulips! (enter a long sigh here:::)  The above cabinet is accession no 77.58 and part of the Royal Museum at the  Rockox House ~ you can view it online here .
  I am making my own version of an Antwerp or Flemish Cabinet and was working up an embroidery pattern as practice for the inside panels~ about this same time, a Dear friend of mine became sick, so I decided to make it up into a box for her.  I am real happy with the results so far, and from the feedback I have been getting, so watch for some little kits and patterns based on this design in the ETSY shop or on my blog in the future!
 I redrew the scrolls and tulips from the Antwerp Cabinet to represent a stylized vase of 'get well' flowers for the top of my little box. The little wood box itself was a gift from another Dear friend that originally held Mr Stanley's Crystallized Ginger. I used Piper's Silks and real gold threads for the embroidery. What is so unique about the embroidery on the Flemish cabinets is their use of the crenelated gold plate for the scrolls. Few of the remaining cabinets have all the gold plate still attached, so it was really fun and rewarding for me to be able to reproduce how the panels would have originally looked when they were new
 The bulk of the flowers are worked in long and short stitch, but there are also satin stitch, burden stitch, needle weaving,  couching and overtwisting.
 The interior is a thickly wadded or 'tufted' silk taffeta
  I am sure I'm not the only one who loves little boxes~ anything can be covered with embroidery!
 The stitching is over a duchess silk satin, with antique gold metal trim on the sides and top, which is also lightly padded~ you can see the slight dome to the top.
I worked two panels testing different colors and stitches on each~ I knew I was making one into a box, but wanted to frame up the other in ebonized wood to see how they would look in the cabinet~ and I must say, I really love the panels against the black! I took a little video to show how these would sparkle in the dim candle lights of the era~ just really spectacular in person!  A few months ago, I was joking that I have finally discovered what was indeed inside the black briefcase in  the movie 'Pulp Fiction' was embroidered like this! The glow is amazing and I cant wait to make up my cabinet!  I do have a wait list running for cabinets, so if you would be interested, just drop me a line or send me a comment with your email address and I will add you~ dont worry, I never publish comments with personal info included in them!


Barbara Brown said...

Sooooooooooooooooooo PRETTY!!!
LY, Mom

Elizabeth Braun said...

I love this, so pretty! Just a shame the photos are so small...=(