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Table cloth of spirals

Object number: ROMGH.2010.36.2

Type: Table cloth

Technique: Embroidered

Material: Textile

Width: 79cm | Height: 82.5cm

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 brightly coloured tablecloth has a rich embroidered main panel of spirals with corners of interlaced knotwork. The central design is packed full of shapes and colours, there are no blank spaces. The stitching shows just how skilful the needleworker was. It is very hard to sew such even, simple stitches.

The square panel with rounded corners has 18 six-coil spirals in two shades of green. Each contains three, solid, satin-stitch, red spots, highlighting the importance of the six-coil in the design. They are surrounded by many other simpler spirals. These are made of three and two coils in blue, mauve,  orange and yellow. The remaining gaps are filled with turquoise triangles on a brown or tan background, although some are unfinished. 

Each six-coil strand develops into a strand for a three-coil spiral. This then joins with a strand from another six-coil spiral. The design ends elegantly at the outer edges with strands forming two-coil spirals.  Filling every spare space, this work reflects the Celtic art designs of Pictish cross-slabs and early medieval manuscripts. In particular it resembles a fragment from Tarbat, Ross-shire. One the panels on the Shandwick stone may also have provided George Bain with inspiration.

See Bain's Celtic Art, Methods of Construction page 67 Plate 13

Author: Barbara Pritchard

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