Embroidered panel, probably for a casket
Silk-satin embroidered in silk and metal thread
Museum no. Circ.468-1925
This panel was probably intended for a casket. Decorated caskets were used by girls in the 17th century for storing small personal possessions. They were fitted inside with compartments, suitable for keeping jewellery, cosmetics, writing equipment and letters, needlework tools, tiny toys or keepsakes. They often had mirrors set into the lids, for dressing, and sometimes had secret drawers for particularly precious possessions.
The panel shows a female figure representing Taste, one of the Senses, reaching for apples from the basket at her feet. The most popular subjects for embroidered pictures and panels like these were scenes from the Old Testament and classical mythology, or the representation in human form of the Elements and the Seasons, the Virtues and the Senses. Figures might be copied directly from their original pictorial sources, but were often updated with fashionable clothes and hairstyles.