[HNW] Greetings and about Opus Anglicanum
Allison263 at aol.com
Wed Oct 8 21:13:13 PDT 2003
In a message dated 10/8/03 1:49:54 PM, dreamer81465 at yahoo.com writes:
<< If anyone here has ever done any research in their histories, you all
should know that you can look at two different sources and have two different
answers to the same question. This is my problem. I am looking at multiple sources
and I am looking for commonality in all of them to discern the truth from all
of them. >>
To be honest, this sounds like the heart of your class. It is quite true that
different sources will give you different information, and I think it may be
important to tell that to your students.
But I think you're asking the impossible---to be told, unequivocally, exactly
what was done in period. I'm not sure that anyone can do that with absolute
certainty, given that the current scholarship on medieval embroidery, and opus
anglicanium, is by no means complete. All we can do is look at as many sources
as we can, filter the information, and come up with a reasonable theory. My
experience and research tells me that my information is different from that of
the Laurel who you spoke to. That may mean that my sources are wrong, or
outdated; it could also very well mean that hers are.
What I can tell you is that the sources I consulted that described the
stitches used in OA note a variety of different stitches. For example, the famous
Syon cope includes underside couching, stem stitch, and laid and couched work,
according to "Pictorial History of Embroidery" by Marie Schuette, which most
historians consider to be the Bible of historical embroidery from antiquity to
the 20th century. Other examples of OA appearing in Schuette are described as
including split stitch, satin stitch, and in one case, petit point. None of
them describe exactly *where* each type of stitch was used and for what, although
there is mention of the fine split stitches used in shading faces and hands.
The only real way for you to get the information you need is to get out there
and dig up these sources yourself, and even then you won't get all the
answers. The Internet is notoriously unreliable when it comes to factual
information, personally I wouldn't trust any source I found online unless I could confirm
it elsewhere. It'll take time and lots of effort, because embroidery
scholarship is haphazard in the world of historical research. You'll find information
buried in books about textiles, weaving, women's studies, museum conservation,
the Catholic Church, and archaeology, just to name a few.
I know this doesn't answer your question, and I'm sorry about that. But I
hope it helps in your search.
More information about the H-needlework