An Embroidery with Birds,  North Sporades islands, Skyros, 17th-18th Century
Lot 67
A Greek Islands silk embroidered linen Cushion Cover with cockerels North Sporades islands, Skyros, late 18th Century
Sold for £25,000 (US$ 39,049) inc. premium

Lot Details
A Greek Islands silk embroidered linen Cushion Cover with cockerels
North Sporades islands, Skyros, late 18th Century
depicting two cockerels, one above the other with large lyre-like tails from which issue forth curling feathers, on a ground of pomegranates, tulips, mounted
100 x 43 cm.

Footnotes

  • Provenance: Private collection, Paris.

    Many versions of the great cockerel or hoopoe of the Sporades are found on embroideries from the region where it was used as a secret symbol of independance and resistance to Ottoman rule and as a symbol of the character of the Skyran people. It appears in several versions in neo-Hellenic art and possesses an apotropaic-talismanic symbolism, beyond which lies a wish for fertility but also for the fighting strength that might protect it.

    A very similar example with the same design though with different colours is in the Benaki Museum, Athens (ΓΕ 6381); the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (T.61-1950), Dawkins Collection; and in the Textile Museum, Washington D.C. (illustrated in Roderick Taylor, Embroidery of the Greek Islands and Epirus, New York, 1998, p. 96).
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