HNW - Re 1500s Irish Embroidery

Carolyn Kayta Barrows kayta at
Tue Sep 14 20:32:22 PDT 1999

>(1) Knotwork patterns in general were fairly popular throughout Renaissance 
>Europe, and applied to various things.  You can see interlace patterns in at 
>least one of Henry VIII's portraits; Leonardo (and Durer, too, I think) 
>doodled interlaces meant for floors, and so on.  They're easy to find when 
>you start looking for them.  :-)

I have several, charted for lacis or cross stitch, in various Ren.-period
repro embroidery books.  Most of these have a decided Ren.-period look, as
opposed to a Book-of-Kells look.

>(2) "Celtic knotwork" remained popular in the Hiberno-Scottish Gaidhealtachd 
>long after it had fallen out of general usage elsewhere in Europe.  I have a 
>postcard from the new Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh of a bell shrine in 
>their collection; the bell itself is quite early, but during the 14th or 15th 
>c. it was encased in a sort of bell-shaped reliquary.  The provenance is 
>given as "West Highlands."  The figures of saints on the reliquary are 
>clearly later medieval, but the interlaces used for background ornament look 
>like something from 500-600 years earlier.

Cool!  Is this picture available online anywhere?  I'd love to see it.

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