Recently we had the pleasure of working on one of the exquisite embroideries by Mrs Delany.
Mrs Mary Delany was an 18th century artist who became famous for her “Paper Mosaicks”, cut-out paper artworks of plant specimens made with botanical precision. She developed her art of collage at the tender age of 72 and during the following decade completed nearly a thousand of these “mosaicks”, some of them can be seen in the Enlightment Gallery at the British Museum.
She was a lady of multiple interests, including gardening, painting and needlework; as the embroidery we conserved in the studio demonstrates.
The object came to us framed and in poor condition. The colours were faded due to light exposure and several splits and areas of loss had occurred in the ground fabric.
The embroidery was surface cleaned and stabilised by applying an adhesive coated silk crèpeline backing. The loose threads were realigned and secured by fine laid couched stitching. The embroidery was mounted on an conservation quality board and re-framed.