October 21st, 2010

pomegranate

I know it when I see it...

I have a big post in the works - -more than one.

I know, I know, I keep promising.

I'm off to the farm this weekend, well, right now, actually, so I'll tell you quickly about a fun moment at the Museum of London, on the first day.

We're down in the "vaults", looking at amazing stuff (I'll go into it in more detail soon), and one of the things is a lovely nightcap.  Our delightful curator, Hilary Davidson, told us that the plants depicted on the nightcap were uncertain, but that Santina Levey had examined it and said maybe they were "barberries".

Tricia and I, in unison, said "hollies".  Hilary looked at us.  I explained "they're holly leaves and berries.  Look at how the points on the leaves come out".  She examined it, and said "I think you're right".

And indeed, I'm sure it's holly - the design is remarkably like three different embroideries in the V&A that clearly depict holly, and when I have more time, I'll even look them up (I took pictures, so I can compare).  Holly is a popular plant in embroideries, probably because the leaves are very distinct, and the berries such a bright and beautiful red (for colour embroidery).  I know holly when I see it.

So - studying embroidery does pay off!

And with that, I'm gone.  See you later!