Saturday, 21 December 2013

Dame Dorothy Davenport * A Great English Needlewoman * Bramall Hall near Stockport, UK

Between The Whitworth Museum in Manchester and The Macclesfield Silk Museum you will find, on the outskirts of Stockport, Bramall Hall. The home of the Davenports since the 15th century. It was home to Dame Dorothy Davenport who was famous for her needlework. You can see her above aged 60 in 1627.

Bramall Hall is one of the most beautiful treasures of England and is of great national importance. The magnificent 16th Century wall paintings, Elizabethan fine plaster ceiling, the Victorian Kitchens and Servants Quarters give this Hall its unique charm. One of the bedrooms, the Paradise Room, was originally furnished with textiles stitched by Dame Dorothy, though sadly there are now replicas there and you have to go to the outskirts of Macclesfield and another hall, Capesthorne Hall, to see the originals.

It was quite by accident that I came across this small piece of needlework at auction - it measure just 8" x 6½ ". Attached to it was a label telling us rather cryptically: Dame Dorothy Davenport Who Died In 1636, And Who Was Known Throughout England As A Great Needlewoman-Are Being Furnished In The True Style Of 300 Years Ago With Authentic Pieces Of That Period, The Gifts Of Local Residents" and below you can see the piece in question.

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