Collection Online

(King Charles I and Henrietta Maria of France)
(mid 17th century)

silk, linen, paper, metal and silk (thread), mica, pearls, coral, wood, cotton (wadding)
43.3 × 54.3 cm
Place/s of Execution
Accession Number
International Fashion and Textiles
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased, 1957
Gallery location
Not on display

This embroidered raised-work picture, showing a couple bearing royal regalia, exemplifies the manner in which needlework could indicate the maker’s political allegiances. Thought to depict Charles I and his wife Henrietta Maria of France, it could have been made before or after the king’s execution in 1649. Following his death, a cult following developed among those who opposed his sentence as a ‘tyrant, traitor and murderer; and a public and implacable enemy to the Commonwealth of England’. Charles I was the first monarch to be put on trial for treason.

—text from Exquisite Threads (Apr 2015)