Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Felt work and applique

A cottage orne, A La Ronde, Devon  showing the works of the Misses P:arminter

My collection of 'pictures without paint' grew when I found a very rare felt picture which was made in Frant, Tonbridge Wells, showing an old postman and his donkey delivering a bag of letters, it was simple and graphic and there was a companion picture of his wife, an old crone. These pictures, made by a tailor, were rare then, and now they would fetch many hundreds, if you could find them. The other very collectable subjects were charming baskets of fruit and strawberries with real straw-work and little spots on the raised felt fruits to show the pips. There were baskets of flowers too with fancy stitching all in felt, and the occasional horse or dog or cat, always in great demand. The tinsel pictures of famous actors and figures have always been collectable and later figures were sometimes dressed with real silks and laces. Add to that, cut-work pictures done with sharpest scissors and scalpels, pin prick figures (often Continental) and pictures sewn with silk and real hair (with the very finest needles) you can see there was a wide choice of these ladies amusements and that is not counting cork pictures carved by P.O.W.s at Osborne house and Conway Castle and seaweed, dried flower and fern collages as well as shell and feather pictures. These ladies were very skillful and most artistic and made the most of their simple materials.  Prize examples of many of these crafts are exhibited in the famous sea -side Nat. Trust cottage orne called A La Ronde, Exmouth, Devon, all worked by the Misses Parminter after their Grand Tour of Europe in the late 18thC. it is a tour de force and full of decorative charm!

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