Though the fragment is significantly faded, the original colors are evident from a small, unfaded piece that was basted onto the bottom right. The fawn-colored ground of this fabric is broken up by small (1 1/8") daisies on leaves, which alternate orientation (/ \ / \). Originally the leaves were a pastel lime green with a dark green shadow, and the flowers were white. The main motif consists of a very naturalistic bundle of flowers: roses, carnations, and tulips. This motif also alternates orientation as it repeats. The roses were originally magenta, pink, lime green, and dark green. The tulips were originally pink, light green, yellow, and purple. The carnations were originally pink and magenta. There is also a serpentine vine with thorns and purple, light blue, and white pansies.

The ground of this fragment uses unspun or slightly S-spun silk in a warp-faced 5/1 satin weave. The small ground flowers are brocaded with supplementary warp floats, as are the stems and other green parts of the larger floral motif. This is evidenced by the appearance striated green color of the reverse. The large flowers are brocaded with discontinuous floated warps.

The ground flowers of this fragment have faded to fawn, and much of the dark green threads in various motifs has disintegrated. There are several stain spots throughout the fragment.

The top edge of the fragment is folded over with a Z-spun 2-ply S thread showing. Two rows of basting 1" and 2" parallel from the bottom edge are of the same thread that basted on the unfaded piece.

The small, unfaded piece (1" x 6 3/4") has a seam along a selvedge, which shows 2 maroon stripes running its length. The seam is secured by 2-ply S yellow silk thread. On the seam allowance, there are a few stitches in yellow silk floss (unspun) in either a chain stitch or sloppy backstitches. The fabric also has a triangular notch from either an undone pleat or marking a pattern.




Silk brocade


Overall: 17 3/4 in. x 20 in. (45.09 cm x 50.8 cm)


Purchase, 1956

Object Number



Mount Vernon's object research is ongoing and information about this object is subject to change. For information on image use and reproductions, click here.
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