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 Yes you can     No you cannot
View this picture on the internet for enjoyment and inspiration Yes
Share, download and use this picture No
Use the picture for commercial purposes without the permission of the Copyright holder No
Details: the birds' intertwined necks and crest feathers
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View this picture on the internet for enjoyment and inspiration Yes
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Details: the birds' four necks and feet entwined

Intertwined birds

Object number: ROMGH.2010.36.3

Type: Table cloth

Technique: Embroidered

Material: Textile

Width: 64cm | Height: 64cm

Production date: 1920 - 1968

 Yes you can     No you cannot
Use the same Celtic patterns in your art and craft work Yes
Use this design for commercial purposes without the permission of the Copyright holder No
Commercially reproduce this object without the permission of the Copyright holder No

This fabulous embroidered cloth came from the home of George Bain. He probably created the design for one of his students to embroider. The inspiration comes from the various birds in the Lindisfarne Gospels and Book of Kells.

Bain has drawn four vibrantly coloured, stylised birds standing tail to tail. Each head drops down into the centre, its orange beak biting its own brown leg. The long necks and crests are set on a black stitched background. Forming an interlaced design, they connect each pair of birds with its neighbour. The clawed feet of the birds, dropping from their brown speckled bellies, also criss-cross in the centre.

The needlework is extremely skilful, with stitches including satin, herringbone and close blanket styles. The birds’ bodies and wings are worked in 9 colours of thread. The pattern includes spirals, dots, zigzags, strands and mosaics of colour. The blanket stitches of the primary feathers form scallop and chevron contours. This table cloth must be one of the most accomplished pieces in the collection.

See: Bain’s Celtic Art, Methods of Construction pages 109-111 Plates 1-5

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