HNW - Tristan quilt (long)

Connie Carroll Connie.Bunny at worldnet.att.net
Tue Mar 27 00:43:17 PST 2001


Does this help?

Mistress Bunny

>Where did you find this book?
>
>Sorry, I'm not clear which book you mean

Sarach


> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-h-needlework at ansteorra.org
> [mailto:owner-h-needlework at ansteorra.org]On Behalf Of Connie Carroll
> Sent: Monday, March 26, 2001 10:01 AM
> To: H-Needlework at ansteorra.org
> Subject: RE: HNW - Tristan quilt (long)
>
>
> Where did you find this book?
>
> Mistress Bunny
>
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: owner-h-needlework at ansteorra.org
> > [mailto:owner-h-needlework at ansteorra.org]On Behalf Of Sarah Randles
> > Sent: Monday, March 26, 2001 3:19 AM
> > To: H-Needlework at ansteorra.org
> > Subject: Re: HNW - Tristan quilt (long)
> >
>
> >
> > Roberta wrote:
> > >I am trying to figure out how to recreate the Sicilian Tristan
> > quilt.I just
> > >bought Kay Stanilands book, "The Embroiderers".I finally got to
> > see pictures
> > >of what the quilt looks like but they are in black and
> white.Having read
> > >verbal descriptions of the quilt doesn't make the colors specific
> > >enough.Brownish and various shades of green just aren't
> > descriptive enough
> > >to recreate the quilt.Can anyone give me some DMC floss #'s, or a color
> > >source of pictures?
> >
> > I am currently writing the chapter of my PhD on these quilts, so I have
> > quite a bit to say about them, and quite a lot of information
> which isn't
> > readily available which you might find useful in recreating them.
> >  Firstly,
> > though, these are my own conclusions, based on my PhD research, and the
> > thesis has not yet been completed or published, so I'd like to
> remind you
> > that the information is copyright to me. Please don't disseminate it
> > without crediting me (Sarah Randles, unpublished PhD thesis, Australian
> > National University).  Thanks.
> >
> > In answer to your question about colours, I know of no publication of
> > coloured photographs of the quilts, and the museums which hold
> > them have no
> > official coloured photographs in their picture libraries, so I
> don't think
> > you're going to be able to find any.  The staff at the V&A took some
> > coloured photos for me when I was there in 1998, and they brought
> > the quilt
> > out for me to see, but they stressed that they are unofficial and
> > I am only
> > to use them for my own research.  I have to check with them as
> to whether
> > this means I can include them in my thesis, so it may be possible to
> > disseminate them that way when I've completed it.
> >
> > However, I can tell you about the colours.  Essentially, the outlines of
> > the figures etc. (i.e. the bits that show up dark on the black and white
> > photographs) are executed in brown thread.  There has never been a fibre
> > analysis of either quilt, and the fibre composition is
> described variously
> > in the different publications, so I can't be certain, but the
> brown thread
> > seems quite lustrous, and is possibly silk, although it may be cotton or
> > linen. On the V&A quilt the brown thread has been completely restitched
> > (it's possible to see where it it deviates from the original
> stitching by
> > virtue of the remaining stitch holes), so it is certainly not
> original but
> > there is no way of telling when this repair was made.  I don't
> have a DMC
> > chart, but it is a mid caramel colour. On the Bargello quilt, the brown
> > thread is a somewhat darker, chocolate brown, and does not seem to have
> > been restitched.  This means that the restitching was done after
> > the quilts
> > were separated (see my comments below on the issue of the number and
> > purpose of the quilts).  The background stitching - i.e. the
> small running
> > stitches which fill in all the areas which are not raised, is off
> > white, of
> > a very similar colour and thread type and weight to the threads in the
> > ground fabric.  This has been described as linen by most of the
> writers on
> > the subject, but may actually be cotton - without a fibre analysis, it's
> > not possible to be sure.  A slightly heaver white thread is used in some
> > parts of the V&A quilt to outline details of waves.  There is
> no green (or
> > even greenish) thread in either quilt.
> >
> > As you will have gathered from the above, there are actually two quilts;
> > one at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the other is at the
> > Bargello Museum, part of the Museo Nazionale in Florence.  Neither is on
> > display to the public, and both are considered too fragile to
> be displayed
> > again.  When I requested to see the quilts the staff at the V&A initally
> > told me that their quilt was stored folded in a drawer, and I
> > would only be
> > able to see the part which was visible.  However, when I arrived for my
> > appointment the conservator had made the decision that the
> quilt should be
> > taken out and refolded along different points to minimise the
> > stress on the
> > fabric, so I was lucky enough to be the first scholar to see
> the quilt in
> > its entirety in 25 years! I believe that it has now been
> refolded, so that
> > a different part might be seen.
> >
> > There is a certain amount of contention about whether the quilts were
> > initially part of a single quilt, or whether they might have been
> > made as a
> > pair.  The view that they were made as a pair of bed quilts for
> > the wedding
> > of Piero Guicciardini and Laodimia Accuoli (sp?) in 1395 or 1396, stems
> > ultimately from speculation made by Pio Rajna in the only
> extensive study
> > of the quilts yet made, in an article published in Italian in
> the journal
> > _Romania_ in 1916.  This is a long and detailed article (about 80 pages)
> > and I hope to make my translation available at some point when
> someone has
> > corrected it for me.  Most subsequent writers on the quilts
> have accepted
> > Rajna at face value, even though he's only floating a hypothesis, and
> > Colby, Staniland, Loomis and others have perpetuated the theory
> as though
> > it were fact.  I am not convinced by the argument either that the quilts
> > were made as bed quilts for the wedding, or by the argument
> that they were
> > made as a pair - there is quite significant structural evidence
> that they
> > were once part of a single textile, which would probably have
> been too big
> > to use as a bed quilt, even given the large beds of the late
> middle ages.
> > (The argument is quite complex and depends on the identification of seam
> > types and the placement of seams, so I won't go into it here.)
> While there
> > is certainly evidence that the quilts have an association with the
> > Guicciardini family (and the Bargello quilt was in their
> possession until
> > around 1918), the evidence linking the to the Accuoli family is pretty
> > slender.
> >
> > There is also a problem with identifying the quilts as bed
> quilts.  As in
> > English, the same word is used in Italian (coltre) to refer to
> > both an item
> > that is quilted (ie. constructed using two or more layers that
> > are stitched
> > together), and a bed cover which may or may not have been constructed in
> > this way. There is evidence for both bedcovers and for quilting in the
> > fourteenth century, but not that bed covers were necessarily quilted
> > (although I'm inclined to think that they could be).
> >
> > The other common misconception about the quilts is that they
> are executed
> > in trapunto quilting, which involves making small cuts on the
> back of the
> > quilt, inserting the padding through them and then sewing them up.  I
> > wasn't able to examine the back of the Bargello quilt, but I did get to
> > look at the back of the V&A quilt, and this is not the case.
> There is no
> > evidence of any cuts on the back of the quilt, nor of any
> sewing up.  This
> > leaves two possibilities: firstly that the padding (which is
> > clearly cotton
> > wool, not wool as has sometimes been suggested) has been poked
> through in
> > small quantities between the separated threads of the ground fabric from
> > the back or the front, which have then been smoothed into place, or
> > secondly, that the entire quilt has been padded, and that the small,
> > closely worked background stitches have been used to control the loft of
> > the padding in the background areas, allowing the main design
> elements to
> > stand out in relief.  Given the large amounts of padding used and
> > the scale
> > of the designs, I'm inclined towards the second theory.
> >
> > I hope this helps - let me know if you have any more questions.
> >
> > Sarah
> > ******************************************************************
> > ************
> > Sarah Randles
> > s-randles at adfa.edu.au
> >
> > Australian National Dictionary Centre
> > Australian National University
> > ACT 0200
> > Phone: (02) 6125 0476 Fax: (02) 6125 0475
> > (On Thursdays and Fridays, I am at the School of English, ADFA
> on Ph: (02)
> > 6268 8842, same e-mail address.)
>
> list tasks.

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