Pair of Beaded Needleworks
Circa 1830s pair of beaded needlework illustrations made in New York in the early 19th century . The pictures are made of beads and needlework on silk, in their original solid cherry or fruitwood frames. One panel depicts John the Baptist as a child, with his traditional attribute of a lamb. This motif alludes to a passage in the New Testament of the Bible, when John baptized Jesus in the River Jordan, he said "Behold, the Lamb of God." The other panel depicts St. Catherine of Alexandria, the patron saint of students, lawyers, librarians, and teachers in the Catholic Church. St. Catherine is depicted with her traditional attribute of an oversized palm motif, also sometimes interpreted as a large feather. The feather alludes to a writing feather or pen, denoting her learning or wisdom. Each saint is surrounded by a beadwork wreath on a beaded pedestal with the letters "B" for Baptist" and "C" for Catherine. Each saint is flanked by elaborate beadwork of over-sized beaded flowers, roses, pansies, daisies, and forget-me-nots. The figures within the ovals appear to be in the manner of stipple engravings, embellished with silk stiches. The original source for the image of John the Baptist is based on a stipple engraving by A.J. Mecou (1771-1837) after Leonardo. Made in New York State, United States. The pair of beadwork pictures were discovered in a Westchester County Estate. Please note of wear consistent with age including light foxing on the silk. Each framed needlework measures 13.50 Inches wide by 10.50 Inches by 1.00 Inch.