Portrait of Queen Anne, who ruled England from 1702-1714, wearing a lavish court gown and standing next to a curtained column, in a quillwork shadow box made of painted paper filigree, wax, glass, and wood. These shadow boxes are primarily decorated with tiny scrolls of rolled paper known as paper filigree or quillwork. An art form which began in Italian convents in the 13th century, paper quillwork was made from 1/8" strips of paper and parchment from discarded book pages. Plain paper and parchment coils were assembled to mimic carved ivory, while the gilt edges of other textblocks were trimmed and scrolled to resemble gold wire filigree. Other designs included spirals, rosettes and flutes, which were tightly wound around a thin quill and then glued by one edge to a background of paper, silk or wood. By the 17th century, secular decorative paper filigree had become fashionable in England. Formal instruction, papers, and patterns were marketed for the education of young women in England and the colonies in the early 18th century. A very similar model of Queen Anne is in the Victoria and Albert Museum (W.25-1955). That example, also filagree and wax, is described as a shop sign in which the Queen is placed in a theatrical setting. In that example, a framed picture hangs on the wall to the left of the figure, whereas Historic Deerfield's example displays a mirrored sconce.
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