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Adam and Eve Embroidered Cushion

Origin: England
OW: 10 3/4" x OL: 8 1/8"
Silk and metallic threads on a silk ground, silk, beads, and metal purl
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 1956-199
This is an embroidered cushion worked in silk and metallic threads. The design shows Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, together with various birds and beasts (birds, lion, stag, goat, lambs, pigs, squirrels, turkey, peacock, fox, and fish in ponds). There is a sun with a face in upper left corner, and moon with face and stars in upper right corner. The cushion is worked in long and short, stain, stem, split, burden, and tufting stitches on an ivory satin ground. The cushion is faced with red silk satin and has original tassels made of silk and metallic thread, as well as metallic purl, at three corners.

Stitches: burden, long and short, overtwisting, satin, stem, split, and tufting
Label:This embroidered cushion, from seventeenth-century England, was likely used as a surface on which one could place his or her Bible or other precious books. The cushion itself, with its depiction of Adam and Eve, would have served as a reminder of the importance of the Bible to the cushion's user. The figures' unusually-shaped bodies indicates that the cushion was probably made by an amateur female needleworker rather than a professional embroiderer.