Framed silk embroidered image of a young woman with long brown hair, pearls around her neck, and wearing a gown in shades of blue and and brown/gold robe in an oval medallion outlined with blue and gold cord, which is surrounded by 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. The japanned frame is from the period and appears original to the piece. Formerly HD 86.800.
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