c 1700s- 1800s
Plain weave linen (est.) with polychrome wool (est.) and metal thread chain stitch embroidery; applied silk (est.) ribbon and metal thread trim
Overall: 38 x 43 cm (14 15/16 x 16 15/16 in.)
Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1931.132
Embroidering the ends of everyday towels was a common folk tradition in many cultures because it displayed the skill of the mother or daughter who stitched them.
This Russian embroidered panel was likely used to embellish the end of a bathing towel. Textiles of this type are valuable for their fine embroidery of ancient folk motifs, ritual significance, exemplification of the role of textiles in their society, and in this case, connection to a prominent woman collector, Natalia de Shabelsky, without whom this textile and others like it might have been lost.
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