The Morris Dancer circa 1680
Linen: 35 count
Finished size: 10″x12″
From the collection of Sulgrave Manor in Oxfordshire, England: the ancestral family home of George Washington
George Washington’s great-grandfather, John Washington, a Royalist, emigrated to Virginia from England in 1656, while Oliver Cromwell was in power. His ancestor, Lawrence Washington, bought Sulgrave Manor from the Crown in 1539, and it remained in the Washington family for 120 years.
In 1914, efforts began by both the British and Americans to purchase and restore Sulgrave, which is now preserved and furnished with objects from the sixteenth through the eighteenth centuries reflecting the daily lives of its residents over a three hundred year span.
This tent stitched picture, affectionately dubbed The Morris Dancer, was made in the latter part of the seventeenth century, and depicts a lively farmer cavorting in a hilly landscape. He sports the fashionable moustache and beard of Charles II, a waistcoat, knee breeches, wrapped leggings, buckled shoes, and a jauntily angled cap.
The color is worked rigidly through graduated shades of green, brown, and turquoise blue. Stylized oak trees flank the dancer, lending symmetry to the scene. Stitches used are tent and, for the background, counted satin stitch. The palette consists of 27 different colors, requiring 51 skeins of floss, hence the price!