THIS ITEM HAS SOLD*** Exquisite Antique French Napoleon III Era Gilt Metallic Embroidery Religious Stole (Etole)

**This item is sold.** This is an extraordinary work of metallic embroidery dating circa 1850. It originates from a small religious collection found in Paris.

The hand worked embroidery fills the entire field of the stole and is simply breathtaking. The background fabric is of cotton with tiny metallic threads running horizontally. The motifs of arabesques, scrolls, fleur de lis, flowers and initials are worked in stumpwork (a type of embroidery which uses padding underneath the embroidery threads, giving a raised appearance to the figure). At the wide portions of the stole there are two very large oval medallions. They are incredible works of needle art, using both silver braid and gilt metallic thread to achieve a raised, textured appearance. The silver braid is sewn into a crosshatch pattern. The large "S" intertwines with a large fleur de lis. The initials are entirely filled with tiny running metallic gilt threads. The gilt metal arabesques and leaves are accented by silver metallic braid. There are four stumpwork (silver metallic) four leaf clovers at the mid top which have tiny silver metallic rosettes cascading between.

There is a 1/2" wide silver metallic braid around the edges. A linen and cotton lace collar guard at the is at the top neck edge (later date). It has been re-backed from the original (which always suffers the most wear and staining). A pale, gold silk is used to coordinate perfectly with the front. There are two gorgeous bullion metallic tassels and a 1 1/2" gilt metallic bullion fringe at each bottom edge. There are handwritten initials at the bottom back corner.

It measures: 77" in total, 9" wide at the bottom tapering to 2" wide at the top. The large initial motifs at the bottom each measure 5 1/2" x 4". It is in very good antique condition.

The sumptuous use of silver and gilt metallic threads give the stole a regal and royal presence. It is a stunning example of a French religious textile from the lavish and gilded period of Napoleon III.

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