Camel and Lion
This design was inspired by an early eighteenth century English needlework picture executed in tent stitch: a magnificent example of the art of “needle painting” by the meticulous employment of silk threads on fine linen. This exotic scene illustrates foreign creatures new to the English people. This type of depiction was popular with the upper middle class audience, intrigued by the fascinating discoveries being made by explorers and men of science. The exaggerated shapes suggest that this might have been a piece created by a “pattern drawer” whose vocation was described as:
Patterns drawers are employed in drawing Patterns for Embroiderers. They draw Patterns upon Paper, which they sell to Workmen that want them. This requires a fruitful Fancy, to invent new whims to please the changeable follies of the Ladies, for whose use their Work is chiefly intended. It requires no great Taste in Painting, not the Principles of Drawing: but a wild kind of Imagination to adorn their Works with a sort of regular confusion…
The London Tradesman, 1747
Pattern drawers used published design books for some of their inspiration, as well as wild flights of imagination. The women who stitched these patterns invented their own color vocabularies, and that is where their genius shines.
Stitched over two threads on 40 count linen, this finished piece will measure approximately 12-1/2″ x 11-1/2″. Only cross stitch is used to execute the design, so it is recommended for any skill level.