Author Topic: Alexandra's embroidery techniques  (Read 34040 times)

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Offline blessOTMA

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Re: Alexandra's embroidery techniques
« Reply #15 on: August 21, 2012, 07:24:01 PM »
Thanks for pointing that out. Olga may have been teaching it to Alexis as I believe he did  some needle work as well. One can  see some of the family's  work  on embroidered pillows in a photo of the girl's  room in Tobolsk ...looks like plant forms, circles are favored,  Art Nouveau  influences and a counter-revolutionary, but dazzling,  double eagle !



 

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Offline TheMauveRoom

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Re: Alexandra's embroidery techniques
« Reply #16 on: August 21, 2012, 08:52:52 PM »
Gorgeous! I had seen the pictures from the girls' Tobolsk bedroom but it never even occurred to me that they probably embroidered those pillows. I seem to remember reading that Alexei did some needlework, too. I understand it was quite common up through the early twentieth century for boys to be taught basic sewing and needlecraft techniques. They are definitely valuable skills to have. It is a shame that today many women don't even know how to sew on a button!
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Offline historyfan

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Re: Alexandra's embroidery techniques
« Reply #17 on: August 21, 2012, 09:34:08 PM »
I have a friend who does excellent needlework. It's not as popular as it was, but it's still out there. I wouldn't mind learning. Those examples of the Imperial family's needlework are stunning.

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Re: Alexandra's embroidery techniques
« Reply #18 on: August 25, 2012, 12:59:27 PM »
I don't know if anyone is still interested, but I figured out where I saw the pictures of Alexandra crocheting. They are on page 166 of The Romanovs: Love, Power, and Tragedy. Unfortunately, I don't have a scanner. Otherwise I would post them for everyone to see!
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Offline amelia

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Re: Alexandra's embroidery techniques
« Reply #19 on: August 25, 2012, 03:28:10 PM »
Downstairs in the Feodorovsky sobor, there is a pillow embroidered by Alexandra, in a box. It is in crewel work and it is very well done and beautiful. Crewel work was the favorite of Queen Victoria, so maybe Alexandra learnt with his Grand mother.

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Offline amelia

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Re: Alexandra's embroidery techniques
« Reply #20 on: August 25, 2012, 03:31:46 PM »
sorry - "with her Grand mother"

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Offline Sanochka

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Re: Alexandra's embroidery techniques
« Reply #21 on: September 02, 2012, 02:22:25 AM »





Pillow embroidered by Alexandra.  Sold by Sotheby's in 2001, sold again recently for $6,500.

Offline Sunny

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Re: Alexandra's embroidery techniques
« Reply #22 on: September 02, 2012, 03:22:41 AM »
Here in Italy embroidering is still fashionable, LOL. At least, cross stitch is. I can't even mend a stocking, but i can cross stitch quite well.
But, with a quick look i'd say Af used other techniques, maybe tent-stitch (also called in a french way, petit point). It's not so different from cross stitching (but i can't do that) but it allows more complicated drawings. But i'm not skilled enough in embroidering to say more, and i'm not even sure she used tent-stitch.

As long as crocheting is concerned, i can tell you more. Here it's pretty still used, you know. I can't crocheting, i admit (on the other hand, i can knit, lol) but my mother can, and very well, too. I've so many small sweater made by her, and tablecloths, and even pillows! So, i can ask her to know more. She says crocheting is very easy, and you can do wonderful things with such an easy handwork, that's why she loves it so much. Maybe it's also why AF loved it.

Gosh - thinking of AF crocheting in my mind means seeing my mother with AF's clothes on (my mother is fair with grey eyes just like AF, you know, lol)! Terrifing image!!!
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Offline Tony de Gandarillas

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Re: Alexandra's embroidery techniques
« Reply #23 on: September 02, 2012, 09:00:35 PM »





Pillow embroidered by Alexandra.  Sold by Sotheby's in 2001, sold again recently for $6,500.

Dear Sanochka,

If you read the description of the pillowcase carefully, it does not say it was embroidered by HIH, Alexandra Feodorovna.  This is an extremely fine example of Goldwork or Bullion Work.  This looks like an example by a professional embroiderer worked on a commissioned piece for her.  Goldwork is more often made in an atelier and not an easy technique made by Society ladies of the era. 


Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: Alexandra's embroidery techniques
« Reply #24 on: September 03, 2012, 08:24:09 AM »
I did show the picture a friend of mine  who is anexpert embroiderer and remarked much the same, he thinks it was  professional work  and does  gold work as well. Other than historic interest and an example of gold work at its best, we both think the ugly.
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Offline Tony de Gandarillas

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Re: Alexandra's embroidery techniques
« Reply #25 on: September 03, 2012, 02:08:31 PM »
I did show the picture a friend of mine  who is anexpert embroiderer and remarked much the same, he thinks it was  professional work  and does  gold work as well. Other than historic interest and an example of gold work at its best, we both think the ugly.

I agree with you.  It is an example of the taste of that era.  For me it is a bit over the top, but the craftsmanship is quiet remarkable.  I'm sure your friend agrees that the skill level is very high, especially the Romanov emblem.

Enjoy your long weekend.

Tony

Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: Alexandra's embroidery techniques
« Reply #26 on: September 03, 2012, 02:29:57 PM »
Oh yes TdG he was impressed with eagle very much. As was I.
Life may not be the party we expected, but while we are here, might as well dance..

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Offline Sanochka

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Re: Alexandra's embroidery techniques
« Reply #27 on: September 04, 2012, 04:14:51 AM »
I, too, think the embroidery looks extremely complicated - especially the eagle - to have been done by one who doesn't embroider for a living, but the description from the most recent sale identified this pillowcase in no uncertain terms as being embroidered by Alexandra.   Still, one cannot dismiss this as being too complicated for her to have embroidered it.  She did embroidery for years and years and surely must have developed some degree of expertise through constant practice.

Offline Tsarfan

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Re: Alexandra's embroidery techniques
« Reply #28 on: September 04, 2012, 07:10:27 AM »
. . . the description from the most recent sale identified this pillowcase in no uncertain terms as being embroidered by Alexandra.

Could you perhaps post that description from the other sale so that we may see what it says?

Reputable auction houses use very specific terms relating to provenance and attribution.  The auction description captured in the photograph in your earlier post is worded to claim no more than an association of the item with Alexandra Feodorovna and to suggest the possibility of actual ownership by her.  It does not say or imply that she created it.  If there were any proof that Alexandra embroidered it herself, the description would have been explicit on that point, as it would have been significant to its value.

By the way, the discussion here of the history of needlework has been very interesting and informative.  
« Last Edit: September 04, 2012, 07:13:12 AM by Tsarfan »

Offline Sanochka

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Re: Alexandra's embroidery techniques
« Reply #29 on: September 04, 2012, 05:32:08 PM »
I'm glad I caught this before anybody else replied.  Now I don't have to quote.

I found and re-read the description in question, Tsarfan.  When I finished, I found myself thinking the description came very close to crediting the above embroidery to Alexandra, but did not categorically assign attribution to her.  It is a masterful sales pitch to wishful thinking.