Length of fabric

Object name

Inspired by

Date made

Circa 1880-1900

Place made


Late 19th-century length of yellow silk brocade with musical instruments, flags, and flowers.

Content description

A circa 1880-1900 length of brocaded silk woven with motifs of flowers, musical instruments, and flags on a yellow background with raised diamonds. The heavy, stiff fabric was very likely used for domestic furnishings.

In a cartouche formed by each curve of the swag of flowers are groups of musical instruments which include a French horn, cello, drum, lyre, trombone, and clarinet. These are accompanied by sheet music as well as a quiver of arrows, and two flags, one a Union Jack and the other a blue pennant. In one grouping of musical instruments, arrows, and flags are three separate arrows with a flag. All of these musical groupings are intertwined with green shamrock. One group has stylised roses in blue and the other sunflowers in blue with forget-me-nots.

The swags of flowers include red roses, mauve auriculas, red carnations, blue convolvulus, bluebells, mauve chrysanthemums, and other stylised flowers.

This length of fabric is an almost exact copy of a textile in the Victoria & Albert Museum (T.171-1965), which is a mid-18th-century design attributed to Jon Vansommer. It appears to be a late 19th-century reproduction of that Spitalfields design. The presence of flags suggests this may be a patriotic occasion or anniversary, though which one is unknown.


width: 52.5cm
height: 103cm



Credit line

Gift of unidentified donor, 1996.

Catalogue number


Other numbers

RSN 1162
© Royal School of Needlework