Flame Stitch Panels
The many names of the flame stitch (Bargello stitch, Irish stitch, Hungarian stitch, & Florentine stitch) add to the mystery of its origins. Early examples dating all the way back to the 13th century have been found. The name “bargello” comes from a pair of 17th century chairs that are upholstered with a flame stitch fabric at the Bargello Palace in Florence. Examples from the 18th century by Empress Maria Theresa of Hungary, the mother of Marie Antoinette, are preserved in the Hungarian National Museum. The trend spread throughout Europe and also made its way to North America.
Larger pieces of flame stitch embroidery were typically made by men in factories to meet commercial demand, and smaller pieces may have been made by women practicing the craft at home. The larger panels were commissioned by the wealthy to be used for upholstery and home decoration. Smaller panels were used to create cushions, purses, shoes, and other accessories.
A hallmark of flame stitch embroidery is the gradient of colors. This piece uses around 20 different colors of wool threads in a vertical straight stitch to create the signature flame pattern. It is embroidered on a linen ground. We have two almost identical panels using the same colors, and here they are priced as a pair but can be sold individually.
Circa: 18th century
Material: Wool on Linen
Condition: Very Good, some embroidery loss on one panel
Dimensions: 90" x 31"
Inventory number: TX5196, TX5197