The Cottage Orné Quilt

The Cottage Orné Quilt
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Thursday, 9 June 2011

Paper cutting masterpiece

If you Google "My V&A" it will bring you to videos of famous designers choosing some of their favorite objects from the collections.  Now generally when asked to list favourite books, films, music etc., I am struck by indecision and have to think long and hard, but choosing  favourite objects at the V&A is easy peasy.

The first one I have shared with you already - The Sundial Coverlet, the second one is this -


Its a cut paper collage by Anna Maria Garthwaite done in 1707 and I think it is absolutely breathtaking in its exquisite detail and workmanship. Anna Maria was one of the most talented silk designers of her generation working in London and she made this collage when she was 17 years old.  It gives some indication of her youthful artistic ability, which laid the foundations for her future success. Some of the trees in this cut-paper work resemble her watercolour textile designs of the 1720s.

This paperwork picture shows a country house of around 1700 surrounded by gardens, with gardeners clipping trees. Huntsmen are shown chasing deer in a wooded park and in the upper right corner is a village with houses clustered around a parish church.  What I love about it is that it is so very English and of course it looks very like a sampler.  It has a dream house, just like the red brick sampler houses, set in a formal garden and surrounded by it productive estate.  Who wouldn't want to live there?

You will find it in British Galleries in Room 52b, Case 1, it is tucked away down in the right hand corner.

These British Galleries are a treat.  They are arranged in exhibits that mix treasures from all over the V&A collections in rooms that put each period in context. You'll find clothing worn by a man or a women near their personal objects, their jewels, the furnishings and wall coverings they lived with and all have detailed and interactive information for you to access.

I have to say that  I haven't actually managed to get through all of them as I tend to get lost by back tracking within the Tudor to Regency part seeking out my favourite things.

I will show you my third favourite thing another time!

4 comments:

fabriquefantastique said...

I will make a point of visiting next time I am in UK. Unfortunately (or fortunately) there is so much to see at the V&A I usually end up just seeing the main event.

regan said...

Mary....the detail on this paper cutwork is amazing.....how large, or should I say small, is this piece.....the frame makes me think it is fairly small! And wonderful! Thanks for sharing it!

Mary Jenkins, said...

Hi Regan- its measurements are 32.5 x 40 cms including frame. That is 12.75 x 15.75 inches to me - can't think in cms!

Vivienne at Rainbow Disks said...

More visual delights. Visiting your blog is like opening Pandora's box. Thank you Mary. I have never seen this before. What talent at 17yrs old.
Vivienne x