MANLY ANTIQUE CENTRE
MARGARET TOWNSEND DATED 1800
In 1674 a local philanthropist, William Hutchinson, made provisions for a
a house in Bowes to be turned into a school for the poorer inhabitants.
He assigned land and buildings to trustees for the benefit of the school which
was originally a free grammar school for the education for the sons of the
inhabitants of the village of Bowes but obviously girls were allowed to attend
at a later date as well, hence our beautiful embroideries.
There are two of these lovely oval framed embroideries for sale.
(See our other listing for the second one)
They both have Margaret's name etc pasted to the reverse side as shown.
These Georgian silk embroideries are a combination of watercolour painting
and embroidery applied in differing ratios depending on the piece.
I believe these scenes were commercially produced stencils on fabric
that were purchased by the schools as part of the girls education to be the
perfect housekeeper, wife and mother.
Sewing was a big part of the average woman's life at this time and a necessary
skill that was learnt at an early age.
I have not been able to find out anything about Margaret Townsend unfortunately
but I surmise she might have been about 10 - 12 years old when she produced
these really striking embroideries.
They are in excellent condition as well, especially considering their age.
Organic items don't always survive this well over long periods of time but these
200 year old examples of needlework are still brightly coloured with no damage
or deterioration to either the embroidery or the watercolour sections.
The frames, which appear to be original, are not so great and are sold 'as found'.
This scene is of a young lady putting a wreath on a tomb which
has Shakespeare written on the front.
Of course THE Shakespeare's tomb is in a church in Stratford Upon Avon.
In my research I have found a couple of similar examples of a silk
embroidery with this design but a different name on the tomb so
They are framed under glass but the glass on this one looks to have been
replaced whereas the other one looks to have the original glass.
I have taken some close-up shots to show the colours and condition.
Some of the photos have been enhanced because of the glass reducing
the affect of the silks but the photos are a true indication of what they look
like without the glass reflecting everything around it.
This one's frame measures 28.5cm by 21.5cm and as stated earlier
the frame is in poor condition but it still does the job and is period.
Summing up, the condition is very, very good compared with other examples
currently up for sale on the internet and the others that are in really
great condition and perhaps a little older are MUCH more money.
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