Saturday, May 28, 2011

Bead work piece from The Brain Watkins House

So here as promised, another textile delight from the Brain Watkins House, a bead work trim made by a skilled artisan, with a selection of fine glass beads used to create it.  

BWH 2004.0127.8 Image courtesy of the Tauranga Historical Society
Each square in the scale rule above the trim is 10mm long to give you an idea of the delicate detail. 


The trim has four diamantes running down the centre with an oval ring of copper rondelles, (flattened seed beads), and around this two rows of clear glass silver lined hex seed beads, with an outer row of gold seed beads.  On each side of this central oval, are three petals edged with gold seed beads, and filled with rows of iridescent grey/blue rondelles.  Running around the outside of each of these three petals is a rounded border with two rows of the clear glass silver lined hex seed beads with the outer edges finished with a row of gold coloured seed beads.
The backing fabric is an open weave canvas.  Note how the gold edging beads have been used to finish the edge of the fabric.

The backing stitches give us an idea as to how the beads were sewn on, in rows, rather that one at a time.

The questions I have are: who made this piece, was it a tailor / seamstress working in Tauranga, was it a textile trim purchased in Tauranga/Auckland, was it made overseas and imported into New Zealand, what era is it from, and what garment or accessory was it originally incorporated into?

So a beautiful little piece and I hope it inspires you to creativity, and to appreciate the skill of the person who made it.

1 comment:

  1. That is so gorgeous imagine owning something like that >< I love the colours it's a pity it's a little wavey in places... Not quite symmetrical but gorgeous nonetheless :)