Friday, October 8, 2010

Is this Jemima Puddle-Duck?

The latest Greatest Charity Shop Find

I love hunting through doilies and tablecloths in second-hand shops looking for that hidden treasure. The beautifully embroidered cloth, that has been thrown in with the common and ordinary, by someone who does not have the connoisseurship or specialist knowledge, to see that this was worked by a skilled artisan and is a wonderful piece.

I found two such pieces this week and here is one of them. This is a little pyjama case, or maybe a cot pillowcase, found in a Charity shop.

It has the cutest little duck worked in applique and embroidery, in the finest detail. The colours, the composition, and the content are all delightful, and I couldn't believe my luck. I was going to cut it up to use it as part of a project, but when I got it home and saw how skillfully it had been worked, I decided it had to be saved, this was a work of art.

I wonder if it is Jemima Puddleduck, what do you think? I don't think the hat is a poke bonnet, like Jemima's.

You start to comprehend the detail in the embroidery when you see the scale against my fingertip. These little treasures, like many of us at times, my cherished darlings, are often not appreciated, now that few spend their time at this wonderful craft. If you are lucky enough to come across a piece like this, for $2.50, like I did, think of the hours of work that would have gone into creating it, and the years of training it would have taken to create something as perfect and without fault as this.


  1. how can you tell it wasn't done by a machine? And what exactly do you feel is gained in knowing it was hand made... I don't really see the appeal...

    On a larger scale hand made implies a more tailored and specifically designed piece of clothing for example... But in the case of fine details little aesthetic change is made by the fact that it is hand made... So is it purely knowing that it is hand made that allows you to appreciate it? Seems a little silly to me....

  2. I guess it is like the difference between an oil painting and a print. The oil is is the original, and being hand made makes it unique. And I guess you are right, only those who have sewn themselves or who understand the process can really see the difference, but to these people that difference is everything.