Latest Estate Sale Finds

Aren’t these totally kitch and adorable?  My mother and I, hesitantly followed by my sister who felt she hadn’t been given all the pertinent information about this trip, found them in a smallish house’s estate sale.   The cupboards were full of white melamine plates and bowls, the basement had a bar decorated with British posters, and in the bedroom, on the wall behind the bed frame, were these two pieces.

I spotted the fact that they were shadow boxes before I even noticed they were embroidered.  Looking out for frames without glass and for shadow boxes is a great way to identify embroidery.  Since embroidery stitches tend to suffer when being crushed under the glass in a traditional framing job, the nicer jobs will typically leave at least a bit of room for the stitches’ 3D-ness to breathe.  There is nearly an inch of room in these frames.

After stepping through the bed frame and pulling them off the wall, I immediately asked how much.  Ten dollars?  Sold!  The people in charge of the estate sale had no idea they were embroidery and not just paintings.  I probably would have had to pay more if they had looked a bit closer.

When I got them home, the glass was so dusty that I thought dust had actually gotten inside the frames.  A quick wash with a bit of soapy water later, I realised they were in excellent shape, just filthy.

There are lots of different knots and techniques, and the two frames look beautiful together, near my kokeshi doll collection and the Xbox. I think they are on silk, but I’m not sure what kind of thread was used. Can anyone identify the thread?  It’s super glossy, but I can’t even really tell if it’s stranded or not.  I think it is…


3 thoughts on “Latest Estate Sale Finds

  1. They look like they could be silk – I’ve got a box of old embroidery silks, and they are quite shiny, but the strands are much thinner than cotton embroidery threads. When you embroider, they just become ‘clumpy’ for want of a better word. They also tend to ‘curl’ – I’m looking at the leaf in the last picture where the threads are ‘wriggly’. There is a kind of buoyancy about silk that you don’t get in other threads. My vocabulary is not getting any better, obviously. Anyway, whatever they are made from, they are lovely – Well done on your find.


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