Antique religious needlepoint

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I try to avoid over-the-top superlatives but, superlatives apply to this piece. Stunning! Museum quality! This is very fine wool needlepoint on what looks like a linen open-weave cloth. This could be nun’s or a devotee’s work.

Religious art or needlework, this is a beautiful piece. Two panels; Christ at the table on the left and the Holy Ghost as the Dove over the Chalice with two angels at the top and urns with plants flanking the Chalice. The visible portion of the image measures 8″ by 7 1/8.” 15″ by 10 7/8″ and the feet each measure 6 3/4″ long.

I believe this is at least 19th century and it could be 18th century. The embroidery is in very good shape for its age. There are a few areas where the wool stitches have disappeared – the most obvious area is in the angel’s hair in the upper right of the right panel.

The Dove is a little hard to discern as the once gold background behind it has faded. Overall, the fabric and embroidery is in very good condition overall.

The wood frame is lovely, old and worn. I think the basic wood is a fruit wood but I am not up on European woods. The burl band at the bottom is a well-crafted veneer with a meandering seam in the center that I didn’t see until a friend pointed it out. Craftsmanship!

Note that the frame has been repaired more than once. The base of the right upright (as you look at the piece) broke and was glued and you can see this repair in the photos. The left upright was glued inside the foot. And there may be others but overall, the repairs are sturdy and the piece is stable. Lots of old bug holes in the wood but I’ve this piece for 15 years with no evidence of any insect activity.

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