Art/ Collection/ Art Object


third quarter 17th century
Satin worked with silk, chenille threads, purl, shells, wood, beads, mica, bird feathers, bone or coral; detached buttonhole variations, long-and-short, satin, couching, and knot stitches; wood frame, mirror glass, plush
H. 23 3/4 x W. 19 1/2 inches (60.3 x 49.5 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Irwin Untermyer, 1964
Accession Number:
Not on view
Improvements in English domestic glass production in the second half of the century coincided with the fashion for raised-work embroidery and resulted in the production of some of the most spectacular examples of embroidered household furnishings of the seventeenth century.

The three-dimensionality of the embroidery and the creative use of materials on this example are very impressive. The tail feathers of the peacock are created from fragments of actual bird feathers, there are tiny shells and bits of coral in the grotto surrounding the fish pond, and the costumes of the courting couple include details such as real lace trimmings and seed pearls.

The decoration of this mirror refers to a marital union, symbolized by the couple flanking the mirror glass, the two manor houses above them, and the figure of Harmony, in the guise of a young woman playing a lute, at the top of the mirror. The heraldic lion and leopard suggest that the owner was a loyal Royalist, as these animals appear on the royal coat of arms as well.
Viscount Wolseley ; Percival D. Griffiths ; Irwin Untermyer , New York (until 1964)
Related Objects

Bible and Book of Common Prayer

Date: ca. 1607 Medium: Satin worked with silk and metal thread, spangles; long-and-short, split, satin, couching, brick, and knot stitches Accession: 64.101.1291 On view in:Not on view

David and Abigail

Date: mid-17th century Medium: Linen embroidered with silk thread Accession: 64.101.1325 On view in:Not on view

Night cap

Date: 1600–1620 Medium: Linen worked with silk and metal threads, spangles; chain, stem, darning, detached buttonhole, and plaited braid stitches Accession: 64.101.1241 On view in:Not on view

Cheval fire screen

Date: ca. 1730–40 Medium: Walnut frame, parcel gilt and needlework Accession: 64.101.1154 On view in:Not on view


Artist: Robert Adam (British, Kirkcaldy, Scotland 1728–1792 London) Date: 1765 Medium: Carved and painted pine, glass Accession: 60.31.2a–c On view in:Not on view