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head-piece / cloth

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    2009,8012.3

  • Description

    Embroidered cloth, a long rectangular panel, possibly a head-piece, the central part with dense embroidery forming a zigzag pattern in red, blue, green, black and metal-wrapped thread on a linen ground. At the top a plain dark blue wool panel with embroidered border in metal-wrapped thread. Below, a panel with dense couched work of spirals of metal-wrapped thread forming three crosses; the openwork border decorated with tassels incorporating bobbles of thread wrapped round a wood core and glass beads.

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  • Date

    • 1850-1895 (circa)
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 103 centimetres (including tassels)
    • Length: 90 centimetres (excluding tassels)
    • Width: 50 centimetres (max, including tassel)
    • Width: 43.5 centimetres (max, excluding tassels)
  • Curator's comments

    The former owner of this textile, Sir Joseph Cocksey Lee (1832-1894), cotton spinner and merchant, was Chairman of the Manchester Ship Canal 1886-7. His son Lennox Bertram Lee (1864-1949) joined the family cotton printing business, taking it into the Calico Printers Association, and becoming the latter’s Chairman from 1908-1947. He presumably gave this textile to the CPA on his father’s death in 1894.

    The V&A has a similar less elaborate panel (T.8-1917) on display in the Textile Study Gallery and described as Serbian.

    Possibly a bridal head covering ('sokay' or 'ubrus'), attached to the back of the head, or the shoulders and hanging down the back. They were often very long and elaborately decorated. For examples from the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, see Angeklina Krsteva, 'La broderie nationale macédonienne', Skopje 1975, pls. 10a-c and 11, pp. 85-6. The metal thread decoration is similar to that found in Bosnia (the vendor's understanding was that it came from Banja Luka), but the cross over areas for each group of people are difficult to define and it could also be Serbian or Croatian.

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  • Location

    Not on display

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    2009

  • Acquisition notes

    Acquired by vendor at Christie’s 29 April 1998, lot 325, with the information that it came from the Calico Printers Association (Manchester), to whom it was given by L. B. Lee 1895, from the collection of Sir J. C. Lee.

  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number

    2009,8012.3

Embroidered trapping, a long rectangular panel, the central part with dense embroidery forming a zigzag pattern in red, blue, green, black and metal-wrapped thread on a linen ground. At the top a plain dark blue wool panel with embroidered border in metal-wrapped thread. Below, a panel with dense couched work of spirals of metal-wrapped thread forming three crosses; the openwork border decorated with tassels incorporating bobbles of thread wrapped round a wood core and glass beads.

Embroidered trapping, a long rectangular panel, the central part with dense embroidery forming a zigzag pattern in red, blue, green, black and metal-wrapped thread on a linen ground. At the top a plain dark blue wool panel with embroidered border in metal-wrapped thread. Below, a panel with dense couched work of spirals of metal-wrapped thread forming three crosses; the openwork border decorated with tassels incorporating bobbles of thread wrapped round a wood core and glass beads.

Image description

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Object reference number: EEU115999

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