Skyros, in the North Aegean sea, is the largest of the Sporades islands and the only one of them with its own unique embroidery style. Skyros embroideries use naturalistic elements such as musicians, horsemen with raised swords, birds and ships, all drawn freehand and embroidered with very colorful floss silk. One unique element is the cockerel. Many elaborate versions of it are found in local work, where it was used as a secret symbol of independence and resistance to Ottoman rule.
This long panel is not a valance but rather a panel of a coverlet or sheet. Originally these textiles combined three selvedged long panels sewn together lengthwise. The decoration is along the edges so that the center panel would have embroidery only at the two short edges. Rows of medallions with a center vase with flowers, with pair of birds flanking each vase. There are three styles of birds, the largest of which are cockerels with large tails and crests.
Running stitch silk embroidery on linen.
Circa: second 1/2 18th century
Origin: Skyros, Greek Islands
Material: Silk on Cotton
Condition: Minor stains and holes. Very good condition. Backed with heavy linen
Dimensions: 16" X 72"
Inventory number: TX4855