Costelo Branco Coverlet
The Portuguese conquests allowed for many cross-cultural influences. Most renowned are the Indo-Portuguese embroideries made in India for the Portuguese market.
Castelo Branco embroideries show the Indian influence in their themes. Tree of life is a prime motif as are large exotic flowers and smaller figures or animals. All very Indian in style but the stitching is European. The silk is uncoiled and thick, and the stitching is long and held together with overall couch embroidery. This contributes to large, smooth and reflecting surfaces that make these usually large panels shimmer in the light.
This matrimonial bedspread with a stylized tree of life motif, and variety of floral representation, i.e., peonies, chrysanthemums, beloved in Chinese civilization and symbols of spring. A large bird with its wings spread and its tail unfolded is perched on a branch in the center of the graceful circular embroidery. An abundance of florals synonymous with fertility and the bird as the symbol of happiness for the marriage is a familiar narrative.
Castelo Branco was produced in one monastery in the 18th century. By early 19th century, production stopped and did not get revived until the 20th century. The materials used to create the coverlets are of flax and silk all of which are cultivated locally, facilitating their production.
Circa: 19th c.
Material: Linen with Silk Embroidery
Dimensions: 93" X 72"
Inventory number: TX4777