English or French, 17th century, couched silver and gold metal raised appliques on the original green silk velvet. Appliqués of leaves were cut from woven cloths of gold and silver and applied to cut pile silk velvet then outlined with gold metal cording. Raised areas were stuffed with padding and covered with cloths of gold giving this remarkable textile a three-dimensional quality. Areas of thick metal purl can be seen in the very center of the middle leaves. “Purl” is a form of metal embroidery thread coiled like a tiny spring, something that is no longer done today. Trimmed out with four different 18th century handmade silk and metal trims. Backed with deep moss green silk velvet.
A truly amazing textile in the fact the design was entirely worked by hand. The high cost of metal threads meant that they were used sparingly and because they were fairly stiff and bulky when twisted together they were seldom pulled through the fabric. Instead they were laid on the surface and attached with silk threads.
Condition: Minor rub to the silk velvet pile something that is consistent with age.