18th century Georgian Silkwork Silk Embroidery Work, Charlotte Mourning Werter. English, last quarter of the 18th century.
13.75 " x 10.5" (framed) 9" x 6.5" (image). This is a very fine example of English silkwork, dating to the Georgian period (last quarter of the 18th century).
The embroidery depicts a scene of mourning, a very common subject in this period, particularly in this medium. The work specifically portrays Charlotte ("Lotte") visiting the grave of Werther, a scene from Goethe's 1774 novel, The Sorrows of Young Werther, one of the most influential novels of the 18th century. Lotte was the subject of Werther's unrequited love, and his inability to be with her, led to his suicide. The story was a catalyst for many contemporary copycat suicides, also known as the "Werther effect".
The somewhat morbid story of Werther, was considered romantic by the Georgians, and fits well in the oeuvre of silk embroidery scenes produced in this era, which often depict tales of forbidden, doomed, or lost love. These stories must have weighed heavily on the minds of the young women who produced these embroideries. As some signed pieces tell us, the girls were usually no older than their early teens when they produced these works.
The piece is skillfully done, unlike a majority of silkwork images, incorporating a variety of stitching techniques and textures, giving the work an inspiring quality. The stitching textures mimic the qualities of the elements it seeks to recreate quite well - particularly noticeable in the leaves, branches, and gravestone. Like many silkwork embroideries, the composition here is based on a contemporary engraving by Robert Marcuard, after a painting by Robert Smirke (see the last image). Very good condition for type and age.The only thing keeping the piece from excellent is the water stain, visible in the photographs. Unlike the majority of Georgian silkwork pieces, there are absolutely no tears or fading of colors. The original frame - likely a round gilt stucco given the piece's size and shape - has been replaced, and the current framing now has acid-free matting for preservation. We stand behind the accuracy of our listings, authenticity and attribution of our items. Michael Allan Antiques and Decorative Arts specializes in fine European furniture, decorative arts, and accessories from the 17th-mid 19th Centuries. We pride ourselves on the high quality of our pieces. We believe that quality antiques and decorative arts should be available for all budgets, so we strive to offer fine antiques at multiple price ranges. We really do appreciate you taking the time to visit our website to view our exquisite inventory. Feel free to call or write if you have any questions about any items in our inventory. We are more than happy to provide you with more information regarding provenance, condition, as well as provide additional photographs, when possible. The item "Antique Georgian Silk Work Silkwork Mourning Werther 18th century Embroidery" is in sale since Thursday, October 12, 2017. This item is in the category "Antiques\Linens & Textiles (Pre-1930)\Embroidery". The seller is "michaelallanantiques" and is located in Los Angeles, California. This item can be shipped to United States, United Kingdom, Denmark, Romania, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Czech republic, Finland, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Estonia, Greece, Portugal, Cyprus, Slovenia, Sweden, Belgium, France, Ireland, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Mexico, Norway, Croatia, Guernsey, Gibraltar, Iceland, Jersey, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Canada, Bermuda.