A covetable piece: 17th-century embroidery panel

This embroidery panel, with raised details, is like an exquisite 17th-century pop-up book

It's hard to imagine the patience and perseverance that went into the making of this 17th-century embroidery panel. Hard to believe too, given the level of detail, the beadwork and the stitching, that it may well have been intended to be the decorative lid of a casket.

The Tudor and Stuart eras saw a huge spurt in interest of ornamental gardens and this is reflected in the art of the period. Horticulture's relationship with the Garden of Eden also meant that depictions of flora were thought to bring man closer to God. The woman in the centre playing the lute was a common motif and represented harmony and hearing - both seen as female virtues at the time.

Unsurprisingly, this is one of the most ornamental embroideries of the period to have appeared on the open market (which is why LAPADA has chosen it as its Object of the Week). It is museum-quality standard and therefore, if you're interested in owning such a masterpiece, it's best to contact the embroidery and sample specialists Witney Antiques direct.

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