This is a large needlepoint featuring a depiction of a shepherdess, a popular 17th and 18th century subject. The piece is entirely hand made with the figure of the shepherdess and her sheep being rendered in finer petit-point. The piece has two gold metallic thread decorative “medallions” affixed to either top corner from which the piece would normally hang, however the hook is missing from the back of one of the medallions. The bottom back is written on in black felt pen “Victoria and Albert Museum” and there are four weights affixed across the bottom. The appearance of “Victoria and Albert Museum” written on the back is a bit of a mystery - definitely an old inscription, perhaps a deaccession from the museum or a copy of a piece in the museum, difficult to know for sure. The piece is rendered in the style of an 18th century piece, but could date to the early 19th century although I don't think so. It measures 37” by 22 1/2” and possibly was originally meant for use as a fire screen, although I can’t be sure. It is in very good condition - there are a couple of vertical areas on the shepherdess‘ skirt that are devoid of stitching over the base, but I think that this was done purposefully to create highlights on the skirt. The colours are somewhat muted comparing the front to the back, but this is typical for a textile of this age that has been hung for some period of time. Some of the canvas backing is torn, but this doesn’t affect the needlepoint itself. This is a very old piece.
This is a lovely piece of work - beautiful antique textile that would make a wonderful country home display piece!