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With All Due Respect

Showing what you're made of
English<br><b>Enbroidered Box</b>, 1662<br>Silk, metallic threads, seed pearls, wood, and metal
zoom English
Enbroidered Box, 1662
Silk, metallic threads, seed pearls, wood, and metal


A teenage girl working diligently with a needle and thread created the velvety lions, fluttering curtains, and soft flower petals on this embroidered box. In the past, the craft of embroidery was taught to young girls in wealthy families. They learned to make many different stitches and use many kinds of materials. Notice the silk fabric, metallic threads, and seed pearls on this box. Look closely, and you will see that the king and queen have little wooden hands and wear crowns set with pearl beads. The more materials a girl used in her stitching, the more successful she was as an embroiderer.

The pictures on this box tell the Old Testament story of Queen Esther, a heroic young Jewish woman who saved the lives of the Jewish people in her kingdom. Girls impressed with Esther’s loyal and honorable character chose to depict her story with their needles and thread.

Crafts that showed off a girl’s talents were displayed in the formal sitting room of her family’s home, to be admired by potential husbands and their families. By choosing Esther’s story for her needlework, the girl suggested that she herself was loyal, brave, and honorable.

Educators' Evening
October 2003