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.

Whoever made it, this is a beautiful piece.  I believe this is at least 19th century and it could be 18th century.  There are 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 Dove is a little hard to discern as the once gold background behind it has faded.  There are a few areas where some of the wool yarn has disappeared – the most obvious area is in the angel’s hair in the upper right of the right panel.  The embroidery is in very good shape for its age.

The visible portion of the piece measures 8″ by 7 1/8.”  The frame is  15″ by 10 7/8″ and the frame feet are each 6 3/4″ long.  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!

Please note that the frame has been repaired more than once. The base of the right upright (in these photos) has been glued, you can see this in the photos. The left upright was glued inside the foot.  There may be other repairs that I haven’t seen but overall, the repairs are sturdy and the piece is stable. There are 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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