Spotlight on the Castle: Stumpwork Mirror

September 10 2019 | Castle History

Stumpwork mirror

Situated in the Morning Room is this stumpwork mirror, c.1684. This fine needlework depicts figures of Charles II and Catherine of Braganza, with animals and insects enriched with seed pearls and gold thread.

Stumpwork was fashionable from c.1630 to the late 1680s. It gained its name in later years, after the wooden padding sometimes used. Its raised and padded style was an extension of the method used to sew heraldic and church vestments abroad, especially in Germany and Hungary. Stitches are worked around pieces of wire to create individual shapes such as leaves, insect wings or flower petals.

This is then applied to the main body of work by piercing the background fabric with the wires and securing tightly.

The Morning Room was a private retiring room in the Tudor period. The panelling and fireplace date to the seventeenth century. In the stone of the fireplace surround are carved the initials H.W. representing Henry Waldegrave whose family owned Hever Castle between 1557 and 1715.

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