Aegean Legacies: Greek Island Embroideries from the Ashmolean Museum
By Francesca Leoni
Embroideries from the Greek islands dazzle with their bright colours and charming motifs. This publication reveals little-known pieces from the Ashmolean Museum at the University of Oxford, newly photographed and published here for the first time. The embroideries include fragments of pillowcases, bed valances, tents and curtains, as well as items of dress. As with all collections of textiles, the story of the Ashmolean holdings is chiefly about their makers and their ingenuity. Once forming the bulk of bridal trousseaux, Greek embroidered textiles were produced and maintained by young and old women for themselves and the house using locally produced materials. A mark of their worth and a platform for self-expression, embroidered textiles also helped Greek women to negotiate their place in the community, signalling status and affiliation.