Mary Barber’s Some Drawings of Ancient Embroidery

Mary Barber's Some Drawings of Ancient Embroideries
Mary Barber’s Some Drawings of Ancient Embroidery

Old books are a mixed blessing. It is often wonderful to be able to purchase a rare book, especially if the book relates to Ecclesiastical Sewing and Embroidery.  And such is the case with this rare title I purchased last fall.  The book i is Mary Barber’s Some Drawings of Ancient Embroidery that I mentioned last fall.  In its day, the book was highly regarded and is often referred to in many older books on the topic of Ecclesiastical Sewing. The book is filled with wonderful illustrations from examples of embroidery dating from the period of Opus Anglicanum.

Colored Plates from Mary Barber 's Some Drawings from Ancient Embroideries
Colored Plates from Mary Barber ‘s Some Drawings from Ancient Embroidery

I have not done much with this book yet because it is such fragile condition.  The pages are completely loose from the binding and the spine is split and cracked. Something will have to be done with the book.  I’m just not sure what as of yet.

Six winged creature from Mary Barber's Some Ancient Drawings book
Six winged creature from Mary Barber’s Some Drawings of Ancient Embroidery

In checking out the condition of the book a bit more, I noticed there were several variations of the above creature which is often described as follows:

The seraphim are described by Isaiah (vi. 1––3): “I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphim: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried to another and said, Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of Hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.” And in Revelation (iv. 6): “Round about the throne were four beasts full of eyes before and behind, and the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle. And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him, and they were full of eyes within.” It will be noticed that these descriptions differ from that of Ezekiel, not only in the number of wings, but also in the individuality of each beast being separate and independent, not compounded of the four.

Mary Barber Some Drawings from Ancient Embroideries Six winged creature
Mary Barber Some Drawings from Ancient Embroidery  – Six Winged Creature

The illustrations in the text shows nice detail that indicates possible stitch direction and color variations. There is also a bit of detail relating to the church where the designs come from.

There is a bit more I’d like to share about these drawings, but for now the evening is late, and the office work is calling me back to finish year-end book-keeping……..

Solo Dei Gloria

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