Newsletter – July 2012

July 23rd, 2012 by JCope

Vice Chair, Irene Oliver opened the July meeting and welcomed our speaker, Dr Gillian White, whose talk was titled “From Woodbine to Eglantine”.  Gillian proceeded to enthral her audience as she explained the symbolism behind the designs on Elizabethan textiles.

Starting with a painting of Queen Elizabeth I, our speaker took us through wall hangings, carpets, furnishings and clothing.  Even the men who had dutifully attended to support the womenfolk began to sit up and listen as we saw images of the vibrant colours of tapestries that used gold and silver thread, produced in the Low Countries as well as in England.  A favourite theme seemed to be “rustic canoodling”.  Carpets were imported from Turkey and were generally put over tables and cupboards, with only the wealthy using them underfoot.  Very little has survived in the way of chairs and their coverings and cushions but we were able to see some fabulous bed furnishings.  Finally we had a brief introduction to the symbolism on the clothing of the subjects of paintings, again with particular reference to Elizabeth I.  This was a talk unlike anything before and was greatly appreciated by all who attended.

The second visit to Witley Court and Abberley Hall & Clock Tower took place in July in rather better weather than the first trip.

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