[HNW] my Oxburgh materials (long) ( sorry!)

Kathryn Newell cknewell at earthlink.net
Fri Jun 15 13:36:21 PDT 2007

Dear List:

The only book with Oxburgh patterns which Nancy/Ingvild didn't mention was:

"Traditional Embroidered Animals" by Sarah Don,  David & Charles, UK 
(various cities mentinoed), c.1990  ISBN 0-7153-8967-X

This is an excellent book with many fine plates, black and white and color. 
The graphics vary over several centuries, so there is "something for 
everyone". There is a modern adaptation of an Oxburgh Hangings pattern 
"Elephant" charted out. This is the book where I found a charted pattern for 
"Knotted Serpents". I feel they used far too many colors, making this a 
project that was more involved than I planned. I find  the finished motif 
very handsome, though.

There is a large color plate of a fable panel from the Oxburgh Hangings, 
showing the fable of the thirsty jackdaw. There is a b&w plate showing "A 
Monk Fish" (yes in the form of a mer-monk, as it were).

My own materials:

These range in type.  Bear with me.
Some pages torn from back issues of that short-lived publication 
"ThreadNeedle Street".

The Trial Issue had "A Capon" done as a chef's apron (gritting of teeth). 
The chart, as per most modern charts, introduces some back stitching 
(*sigh*). Thankfully a *color* photo is included of the orignial motif so 
one could chart it from that alone.

The Trial Issue also had a kinda nice project of a 4-sided box made of 
plastic canvas, with the lid being that Cherry Bush from the Oxburgh 
hangings. The biggest problem is trying to recreate this is the dratted 
ever-present use of some back stitch for the twigs that the cherries hang 

The Charter Issue had another box project. This time the lid was one of the 
Marian "rhebus" motifs of a marigold turning towards the sun. Again, there 
is the backstitch issue.

The last in their lidded box series is one with flowers. I am stumped as to 
which flowers these are, especially since the leaves are given more 
prominence than the blossoms.


A listing (from1996) of which slides the V&A had, of the Oxburgh Hangings. 
This listing was sent me by a British email correspondent. I repeat it here, 
despite the fact that they might no longer apply:

VAS 276 -- The Hangings, in all their glory
277        The Hangings, central motif
278  Unicorn NO LONGER AVAILABLE (as of 1996, anyway)
279    A Bird of America
280    Octagon
281    Camel
282    Stork of the Mountaynes
283    ? (I don't know what he meant --KG)
284    Crocodile
285    Lion of the Sea
286    Frogge
287    Peacock


Some printouts of JPEGs/scans. I don't know where I got them. :-(  I suspect 
some were from various museum websites, or SCA needlework oriented gentles.


Some photocopied pages from Mary Eirwen  Jones, "A History of Western 
Embroidery", Studio Vista, Ltd, London, Watson-Guptill Pub, NY, 1969. This 
is of an image of "A Catte" but it's in black and white. This is not my 
handwriting -- I think it was from Mistress Mathilde (thanks, Mathilde!)


Photocopy of an article by John Nevinson, "An Elizabethan Herbarium: 
Embroideries by Bess of Hartwick after the Woodcuts of Mattioli".  It 
appears to be from "The  National Trust Year Book" for the years 1975-76. 
This is an interesting (though short) article which explains the sources for 
some of the Oxburgh and other Marian motifs. A most strikign example is 
shown of "The Onion", with the Mattioli woodcut (1572) next to a b&w photo 
of the corresponding Oxburgh motif. Most of this article is text, with 
listings of which of the Oxburgh motifs correspond to which Mattioli 

Back when those great needleworkers from Lohac were participating on this 
list I emailed back and forth with Janelle Heron (I can't remember her SCA 
name). She sent me personal copies of printouts of her recharts for "A 
Pheasant", and "Phenix".

V&A materials from the gift shop during the 1980's

Slides from the V&A for: "A Frogge", "The Oxburgh Hangings" , "A Camel" and 
"A Byrd of America". At some point I should get some color prints made for 
my own reference. (they were removed from their original cardboard frames & 
mounted in neutral ones so the camera shops won't balk)

color postcards of "A Cherry Bush",  "Knotted Serpents" and "Spiders". I 
used to own "A Tiger" but can't seem to find it. It helped me when I 
embroided that motif frm the Spiers & Quemby book.

greeting card with that odd cover otif of "Mushrooms". It is certainly an 
Oxburgh embroidery -- Nevinson (see article above) has a b& w shot of it.


Misplaced materials. I'm sure I have some more information on disk. We have 
a zip disk and had to buy an Iomega Zip Drive on Ebay. Somehow the info 
didnt' get changed over when we bought this computer a few years ago. I seem 
to recall I had a directory called "Oxburgh" on it. Most of my needlework 
research got put on hold when we bought the house in 1999.

If any of this information from my (now) defunct Oxburgh projects is helpful 
to anyone, I'm delighted.

I'm sorry to have rambled.

SCA: Kathryn Goodwyn
"too many centuries...too little time"

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