Monday, April 23, 2012

A Map of England and Wales

I loved sharing my zany embroidered world map with you the other day, but I'm surprised that I didn't get around to showing this one to you sooner - I've had it a little longer: 

I bought it in the Saint Columba's Hospice Shop on the way down from Edinburgh city centre into Leith - it's the shop where the Hospice put all their best vintage donations, and the prices are usually accordingly steep, but when I saw this map, set in a charming oak fire screen, I was prepared to pay a bit of a higher price (and of course, the hospice is very dear to our hearts, too).
So the question that the two charming elderly ladies in the shop asked me was, "Why has nobody bought this sooner? It's lovely, isn't it?" I was a bit surprised too, but my dad laughed and laughed, and pointed out that this was the answer:
It's a map of England and Wales! How enthusiastic are Scots going to be for a piece of vintage embroidery which casually ignores their own country? Anyway, my gain...
Like any self-respecting embroidered map, this one has a range of ships romantic,
and war-like. My dad loved this one, which he reckoned was a good way of dating it - I think it's some kind of naval Destroyer, but please don't quote me.
There is a faded leaping dolphin,
and a compass rose, although the more recent one from my groovy map beats it for style, I think:
The counties are the old ones, of course, and we are guessing that the embroidery itself dates from the 1930s. I'm only going to show you one county today, my old home of Devon:
It has particularly detailed embroidery, with a walker on Dartmoor, the hills of Exmoor and a Red Devon cow. Some of the other counties don't really have any special detail, but many show some kind of industrial or leisure activity. To wish my fellow English bloggers a Happy Saint George's Day (and Welsh readers a belated St David's Day!) I'm going to let you choose your own counties, and ask you to let me know in a comment how you think they might have been represented by a 1930s embroiderer. Please let me know in your comment which (old) county you would like to see, and have a guess at what we'll find embroidered there! I'll post the results in a few days' time. Scots, (Northern) Irish, Americans, French blogueuses, and international friends from all over are also welcome to leave a comment and/or a request, of course! Have a lovely day, especially if it's your National Day!


Unknown said...

I love that. I am guessing that for Lancashire they show a cotton mill, although the Pennines would be my choice (or both). For Cumbria (well I am only about 10 miles from the border!) It would have to be the lakes!

VintageVicki said...

Looks lovely :)

Am guessing if it had been south of the border it would have been snapped up.

Look forward to seeing Suffolk - trying to think what picture we'd have - possibly farming.

How different a map like that would be today.

Lululiz said...

How fabulous to have such a very detailed embroidered map. The Sussex coast was a pretty busy tourist attraction in the 30s, so perhaps a 30s embroiderer would have done a sea bathing scene, Brighton Pier or Hastings Castle.

Betty said...

Surrey? downs and hills maybe. Windmills? we have three within a mile or two of me at Redhill, Charlwood and Outwood. Just imagine the work that went into that embroidery - no tv in those days to distract!

Angela said...

Norfolk - the Broads and the windmills? Norwich Cathedral?

Jane and Chris said...

Warwickshire, where I was born. Warwick castle perhaps....bear and staff?
Jane x

Pom Pom said...

Embroidered maps are fascinating. I loved having a look at yours! I think it is well worth the extra pocket money, Floss!

Fat Dormouse said...

Coming from Liverpool, I might guess at a Liver bird - or maybe Blackpool Tower!!
Crossing the Irish Sea (halfway only) would there be a Legs of Man (otherwise known as a triskelion, I believe)?

Lorrie said...

Your map embroideries are so unique. I don't think I've ever seen anything like them.
For a map of Vancouver Island, where I live, there would have to be orca whales in the ocean, and salmon, mountains, rocks and forests, and a very English looking section of Victoria!

Unknown said...

It is lovely, but feel sad that it leaves out Scotland!!