Crewel woolwork Bedhangings
Crewel woolwork Bedhangings
Crewel woolwork Bedhangings
Crewel woolwork Bedhangings
Crewel woolwork Bedhangings
Crewel woolwork Bedhangings

Crewel woolwork Bedhangings
Second quarter 18th c

A set of fine bedhangings. Really beautiful embroidrery, colours and design. Be marvellous to recreate a four poster bed. There was a label attached to one of the curtains: Mrs M M Pollard, East Cranhain, Cirencester. The four poster of the eighteenth century was dressed with three valances to the top rail, an inner canopy, a back panel for the head of the bed, four curtains, and valances to the lower bed and a coverlet.  Our pieces were clearly originally a set for a bed, but some pieces were altered at a later date. My thinking with the curtains illustrated is that they originally hung the other way up, ie so the border was at the bottom. This seems to be the style when you look at bedhangings in museum collections, otherwise the top border would have been hidden by the valance. They were later turned and made into curtains with the border as seen. They could be successfully refigured for a four poster or half tester bed. This type of bed hanging would have been worked by a very accomplished lady of the house. Often the design was marked (pounced) for the needlewoman to embroider. A nice very worthwhile project.

Ask for more photos.


1/2 - A pair of dimity curtains (white cotton with fine ribbed stripes) each with three embroidered edges, (see above intro), the crewel worsted woolwork finely embroidered with three colourful flowerheads, a pink (carnation) yellow and red striped tulip, with pale blue silk stamens, a deep pink rose with palest yellow silk knotted centre, and a blue star shaped flower, with ivory silk knotted centre, shaded green leaves and tendrils, the borders 5 in; 13 cm wide, all lined with fine linen.

The dimity is in loom widths 17 in; 44 cm selvedge to selvedge. Each curtain is made of 3 loom widths.

7ft 3 in x 5ft 6 in; 2.20 x 1.68 m drop.

3/4Another pair, this time with embroidered borders to two opposite sides , lined with fine linen. 7ft 3 in x 4ft 10 in; 2.2 x 1.47 m wide.

5. A double bed base valance with embroiderey to three sides, for the lower part of the bed, which is rather unusual to find. It would have hidden the legs. 7ft 10 in x 6ft 2 in; 1.9 x 2.4 m.  The embroidered lengths are:  

2 lengths 9ft x 13 1/4 in;  2.75 m x 34 cm deep.

1 length 5ft 2 in x 13 1/4 in; 1.6 x 34 cm deep.

6 A very long narrow strip 12 ft x 6 in wide; 3.65 x 15 cm.

7  Another long narrow strip 11ft 6 in x 4 3/4 in; 3.50 x 12 cm

8 - 2 tie backs each with six flowers, similar to above, edged with terracotta and lovely pink/blue wool braid. 31 x 6 in; 79 x 15 cm.

9. There are also 6 smaller lengths. 3 @ 26 1/2 in; 68 cm and 2 @ 171/2 in; 45 cm.






1/2 -  Both very good condition. One with small area of damage 1 in; 2.5 cm consisting of a hole and another hole below. Lower area centre of right hand curtain in the photo.  One  has a large old patch to the lining. Both with very slight discolouration in parts. Hopefully you should be able to see this.

3 -  5 x 1 in; 13 x 2.5 cm hole. Again slight discolouration.

4 -  3 in; 7 cm tear to top right hand side. Easily repaired with a few stitches.

5. A large bed valance for base of bed. Plain white dimity very stained. If you were going to re use this for the bed lower valance, you would want to change the dimity. The borders are in very good condition.

Valance 1 there is staining to the cotton dimity ground, but the area of embroidery is in excellent condition. One very small mark.

Valance 2 is in good condition.

Valance 3 is made of up two pieces. One piece is lightly stained, the other in good condition.

6 - Very good condition.

7 - A slight stain

8.   excellent condition.

I feel a conservator could freshen these. 


Crewel Embroidered Bed Hangings in Old and New England by Ann Pollard Rowe. The Textile Museum, Washington DC.

Price: on request

Ref N°: 8543/4/5

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