A Mark of Craftsmanship?

Bacton altar cloth reverse

The back of the embroidery on the Bacton Altar Cloth, an extraordinary textile artefact from St Faith’s church in Bacton, Herefordshire and now being conserved at Hampton Court Palace, thanks to Historic Royal Palaces and curator Eleri Lynn. This close up of the reverse of the fabric shows the incredible detail and skill of the embroiderer who made this object: thought perhaps to have been once owned by Elizabeth I herself. Silver chamblet, or ‘cloth of silver’, sewn with dyed silk threads and goldwork embroidery, gold wires and threads. A masterwork, and, well, gorgeous, obviously… (Photo by Natalie Rachel Walker).

Continue reading “A Mark of Craftsmanship?”

A Scaly Fashion Statement


The image above is taken from a woodcut print from the Iconologia, a guidebook to deciphering emblematic artworks written by Cesare Ripa and published in 1603. The woodcut depicts the emblematic figure of ‘Intelligenza’, or intelligence; and she is wearing some rather unusual accessories. Not least of these is the snake she wears tangled around her left wrist. Continue reading “A Scaly Fashion Statement”