In 1967 my mother started her gros-point tapestry – 5′ high x 10′ long.
She created completely from scratch an incredible medieval hunting scene.
The tapestry was made from two pieces of canvas joined down the middle and Mum was always sewing at it every evening.
The crewel wool (3 strand) and canvas came from Heinz Edgar Kiewe in Oxford.
The clothes were copied from tapestries from the 14th century and, amongst the composition, are various family momentos and portraits of real trees, such as the great oak in the park, silver birch, oak, copper beech trees. They have been all part of our lives.
The lovers under the oak tree are family.
All the wild flowers are real species of English wild flowers, copied from life. I remember Mum drawing the blank canvas with black Indian ink designs while it was work-in-progress.
The white stag is the emblem of St Hubert, the Christian saint who is the patron saint of hunters (as well as mathaticians, opticians, and metalworkers – I am finding out just as much as you are, here).
The Arum lily plant signfies the death of our beloved King Charles Cavalier spaniel, Bollinger. He was wonderfully wicked and used to wander round the garden with a live hen in his mouth if he could!
I have always loved the hunting hounds.
The white hound is a lady’s hound – an Italian greyhound, who has not learned to jump up!
A trompe-l’œil frame surrounds the tapestry like a proper gilt picture frame arranged with the correct perspective so that it looks 3 dimensional (ish, added my Mother!)
Mum finished the tapestry in 1978. It was stretched by the Royal School of Needlework, which reminds me of this old Punch cartoon.