Image: Beadwork basket English Glass, coral and wooden beads, lampwork, fine wire About 1670 46 x 33 x 13 cm
Thank you for helping us to acquire this important basket
The basket was probably made by a talented young girl in wealthy household around the time of the Great Fire of London. Made from thousands of tiny glass beads threaded onto wire frames, it has much in common with the Holburne's wonderful collection of seventeenth-century silk embroideries. However where they have faded, here the glass beads retain their astonishingly vibrant colours. The glass heads and hands of Charles II and Queen Catherine of Braganza in the centre of the basket are exceedingly rare and important. Like the glass beads, they were imported from Europe, perhaps Venice or France.
The basket won Country Life's Object of the Year Award in 2012 for its rarity and astonishing condition. It was described as 'testimony to the remarkable domestic needlework skills of women and teenage girls' during this period.
Watch an interview with our Director about the bead basket here >>
Thank you for your support, read our press release with details of the basket's acquisition here>>