20th and 21st centuries

20th and 21st centuries

In the Royal Collection, London, there is a series of water colour vignettes by the English painter and cartoonist, Alfred Pearse (1855-1933). One of these vignettes depicts the moment when the Archbishop of Canterbury crowns King George V of Great Britain, on 22 June 1911. The archbishop is wearing a highly decorated cope in red with embroidered orphreys down the front opening.

In the Royal Collection, London, there is a series of water colour vignettes by the English painter and cartoonist, Alfred Pearse (1855-1933). They depict the coronation of King George V of Great Britain (1865-1936) on 22th June 1911. One of these paintings depicts three of the attending bishops, all wearing highly decorated copes with embroidered orphreys down the front. They carry the Bible, the Chalice and the Plate.

A photograph of Karl Franz Joseph Ludwig Hubert Georg Otto Marie von Habsburg (1887-1922) was taken shortly after his coronation in Budapest on 30th December 1916 as King Charles IV of Hungary. He was also installed as Emperor Charles I of Austria and successor of Franz Joseph, King-Emperor of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, who had died in November. 

Depictions of famous people, moments of historical significance, well-known buildings and land marks often appear on postage stamps from around the world. Considerably rarer are stamps that depict textiles, especially embroidery. Some of these stamps are part of a series about folk art in general, others are deliberately dedicated to the subject.

'The embroidery class at Paco school, Manila, Philippines', is a staged photograph. It shows a number of girls who are working on their embroideries that are tensioned on various forms of slate frames. The photograph was taken between 1900 and 1923.

The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, USA, holds a gelatin silver print from pre-revolutionary Russia, taken by Karl Karlovitz Bulla (1854? - 1929), showing an embroidery lesson. There is a teacher and two assistants, and the girls are working at different levels. The ones nearest to the teacher's desk are working on the more complicated items.

On 24th August 2006, the USA Postal Service issued a set of commemorative postage stamps with the theme of the Gee's Bend quilts. The 39c stamps depict ten designs that date from c. 1940 until 2001. The quilts were made by African-American women in Gee’s Bend, Alabama. The women from this town are well-known for the production of colourful and bold quilts, which were traditionally made of old garments.

There is a telling photograph from 1917 of a girl, Helen Whitty, working on a curtain decorated with drawn thread work in a commercial setting. She was fifteen years old when Lewis Wickes Hine (1874-1940) took the image. The company she worked for was Boutwell, Fairclough & Gold, 274 Summer Street Extension, Boston Massachusetts, USA.

A portrait of Johanne Ryder (born Johanne Margrethe Rasmussen) shows some characteristic Danish embroidery. Johanne Ryder was a Danish woman who married in 1896 a medical doctor, Fr. Vilh. Ryder, in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The Textile Research Centre (TRC) in Leiden houses an envelope with a stamp issued in 1968 showing a woman from Madeira dressed in traditional local dress and working her embroidery, presumably Madeira work

The Ojibwe are a North American Indian people now concentrated around the Great Lakes. Before European colonisation, traditional Ojibwe garments were made of tanned deerskin and decorated with applied items, including animal teeth, bone, pieces of copper and shells. Clothing and other objects were sometimes decorated with dyed porcupine quills or moose hair. Designs were mostly abstract and geometrical.

In 2008, the postal service of Iceland issued a series of three postage stamps with representations of Icelandic embroidery taken from the National Museum of Iceland in Reykjavik. The Textile Research Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands, holds a first-day cover with these stamps (acc. no. TRC 2016.0286).

In 1992, Ukraine issued a series of postage stamps with a representation of folk embroidery. The stamps now form part of the collection of the Textile Research Centre in Leiden, the Netherlands (acc. no. TRC 2016.0289). The stamps bear an identical representation of two confronting chicken or cockrels and a floral motif, worked in black and red on a white ground.

The collection of the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam includes a photograph, taken in the early twentieth century, of a woman sitting at a table and doing crochet. The photograph was part of a family album with photographs of wine seller Kraaij & Co.(Bordeaux - Amsterdam). The table is covered with a cloth made of tape lace.