Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Time to Start Saving Pennies Again - Another Stunning Auction at Christie's - 10 & 11 June 2010

One of the world's most wonderful collections of early needlework - the Longridge Collection - will appear at auction early next month, so start saving those pennies now! The collection belonged to Syd Levethan and Longridge was the name of the street in which he lived.
This amazing Charles II needlework casket worked in coloured silks on an ivory silk ground depicts the story of Joseph. On the front his brothers being thrown into a castle and the back shows Joseph being thrown into the well and sold into slavery. The side panel portrays Pharoah's dream. The inside is lined in salmon pink silk and marbled paper, with a print of a country scene signed Aubrey Exe'd; and contains four glass bottles. There are also compartments for letters and ink wells. And then it gets really exciting because when the upper compartments are removed there is a bottom compartment lined with pink, padded silk and an associated purse worked with roses in green and pink silks, embroidered 'IEAN MORRIS 1660'; with a matching needlework pen or knife case, two silk-wrapped goose quill pens and a bookmark of pink, yellow and blue silk. Fabulous? Or fabulous! The overall size is 5.5 x 14 x 10 in. (14 x 35 x 25.4 cm.) and the estimate just £150,000 - £300,000.

Probably more interesting to my forensic eye are the three worked panels for a casket which were never made up. Depicting the story of Rebecca (at the well) and Elizier they show how the constituent elements, including inner panels of caskets were stitched together in pieces, before being finally separated to make up the casket. The estimate is a more affordable £20,000-£30,000....... Dimensions are top: 11.8 x 9.6 in. (30 x 24.5 cm.); side panel: 11.6 x 9.6 in. (29.5 x 24.5 cm.); side panel: 10.4 x 11.8 in. (26.5 x 30 cm.). I am just showing the side panels here. To see the top panel and other pieces of this magnificent collection, just click here.


  1. Fabulous. On the third picture, which you didn't show, what do you think the stitch is beneath the castle? I can't work out whether its bullion knots or buttonhole. Presume the later? The pictures on Christie's site are wonderful for zooming.

  2. Looks as though it could be something like chenille or purl? It just needs to zoom one more!

  3. I've never regretted not being rich quite as much as I do now. Just to have the chance to study a couple of those pieces would be wonderful. But since I have one child starting college in a year, and another 2 years after that, I don't think I'll be bidding.