Saturday, 2 March 2013

Egyptian Appliqué?

Mr T has this piece of appliqué on the back of the study door for over 20 years!! My husband acquired it when he was helping clear out a props cupboard at the school where he was teaching and rescued it from the bin.  He was told it had been used in a school play many years before that, and presumed one of the teachers had made it. We rather liked it and hung it on the door, which is where it has stayed.  As the door is usually open, I must say I don't notice it any more.

After watching a video about the Tentmakers of Chereh El-Kiamiah and thinking about doing a bit of research for my City and Guilds I thought I'd take a closer look at this piece.  I must say I had not appreciated the workmanship fully, although I remember thinking at the time we got it, that it was a pretty impressive piece of stitching.

I always thought it was sewn onto a piece of hessian, but taking a closer look it is more like coarse linen. It has no backing, but the edge is neatly bound.

The stitches are quite large, but the sections are intricately cut and all are hand turned appliqué with black thread  except for the eagles wings, and some other details which are stitched in white. Although most of the stitching is visible the detail  of the cutting is extraordinary. Some of the appliqué pieces now have holes in them.

I cannot believe that someone did just make this for a school play prop and wonder if it is an old tourist piece from Egypt. I also cannot believe that I have take so little notice of it up to now.

 I wonder what you think. Perhaps you've seen something like it before. I'd love to know.