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HELP! Anyone who knows the origin of 2 portraits that go to these frames (3 listings )

In Rugs and Textiles > Embroidery > Show & Tell and Folk Art > Samplers > Show & Tell.
Embroidery155 of 179Needlepoint framed Castle with gardens and fountainsHELP! Can anyone Identify these portraits and the "thread" used?
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Posted 5 years ago


(4 items)

Hi everyone, I am hoping somebody can help with determining the origin of these two portraits. I am creating three listings here due to the photo limits. One for the female, one for the male (back view photo is the female portrait) and one for the frames because I think the frames will be helpful in determining the time period the portraits were made. I obtained these in central California from a rather desperate person who inherited and there were alot of antiques all of which were being sold cheap. I immediately noticed that they were stitched using something other than embroidery thread. They were in the frames one with oval glass and the other no glass. They both have what I believe is glue residue on them as you'll see in the photos. I am pretty certain the frames are original to them because they are a perfect fit to the frames. Curious to identify the thread I took them around to several antique shops got no answers but alot of offers to buy. The thread appears to be hair, not horse hair, it is very soft and silky, and the background "hair" has the variations of color you see on a person with brown/auburn hair coloring. A few years ago someone suggested to me that these were Death Portraits. I was told it was customary to stitch these using the deceased own hair. True or False? I have had no luck verifying this supposed custom but it does fit in with the portraits. I would love to know when these were done and what they were made of and the value as is. I knew this website would be my best chance at getting some answers to questions I've had for 23 years now. Thank you!

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