Samson and Delilah circa 1670


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A late Stuart petit point picture (circa 1650-1690) depicting the story of Samson and Delilah.

Here Delilah has removed Samson’s hair which was supposedly the source of his great strength.  Curiously this rather violent scene is surrounded by a contented cow being milked by a milkmaid, a bull,  three sheep, and a shepherd playing his flute beneath an oak tree.  Incongruously there is a roaring leopard to the left of Delilah. A shield with a coat of arms consisting of three balls (Medici?) is stitched below Delilah’s feet, and three kings observe the scene.   There is a great deal of iconography in this amazingly well-preserved piece of needlework.

It has been framed between two pieces of glass to display the excellent color and condition on both sides.  It has been photographed outside of the frame.  Sadly, at one time it had been removed from its original frame or mounting and cut down slightly to fit into this frame.  It could also have been part of a much larger work, perhaps a section from a footstool or chair.

Apart from some losses to the left, right and lower edges, it is in an excellent state of preservation.

It measures 10-1/2″ x 15″