An Aesthetic Movement Bamboo & Embroidered Silk Fire Screen


Origin: English
Period: Aesthetic Movement
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1870
Height:  47 inches
Width: 27.5 inches
Depth: 11 inches

A rectangular bamboo screen inset with a central black silk panel, embroidered in a formalised symmetrical design, incorporating leaves, stems and flowers. The silk does have some tears (visible in the images), but it could be restored, and the embroidery is complete and the colours still quite fresh. The bamboo screen itself is in very good condition, with no repairs or chips.

The aesthetic movement can be seen as the bridge to the arts and crafts style. It often had formalised, restrained ornamentation, and was heavily influenced by Japanese decoration, knowledge of which flowed to the West in the nineteenth century through oriental imports. It rebelled against the lavish ornamentation and over-embellishment of the high Victorian period, and sought a purer, more precise level of expression, as exemplified in the simplicity of the panel in this piece, which has a straightforward design balanced by a large blank space.