18th Century Tambour Embroidery

This page focuses on garments and accessories in tambour work. To see how tambour work was embroidered in the 18th century, see the notebook page on embroiderers.

  • Colonial Williamsburg 1971-1373, a man’s cap in linen-cotton twill embroidered in tambour work in polychrome crewel wools, France, early 18th century
  • Gemeentemuseum Den Haag 0256983, cotton petticoat with wool tambour embroidery, c. 1700-1714
  • Museum Rotterdam 20890-1-2, a pair of linen mitts with white tambour embroidery, 18th century
  • MFA 57.679, a fine muslin V-shaped fichu in cotton muslin with silk tambour and metal thread embroidery, France, 18th century
  • MFA 38.1390a/b, a pair of silk garters with silk tambour embroidery, France, 18th century
  • MFA 38.1392a/b, a pair of silk garters with silk tambour work, France, 18th century
  • MFA 43.547, a quilted cotton petticoat with wool tambour embroidery, French, 18th century
  • Winterthur 1969.1708, a quilted petticoat fragment with wool embroidery, France, 1700-1750
  • Winterthur 2010.0015, linen petticoat with wool tambour embroidery, France, c. 1720-1740
  • V&A T.217-1953, a sleeved cotton waistcoat with wool embroidery, probably made in India for export to Europe, c. 1740-1749
  • Museum Rotterdam 68634, a child's dress in ecru muslin with tambour-worked flowers, c. 1750-1785
  • MFA 53.355, silk satin fragment with silk tambour embroidery, France, second half of the 18th century
  • Museum Rotterdam 20837-A-B, a pair of linen mitts with silk tambour embroidery, c. 1750-1800
  • Gemeentemuseum Den Haag 1050156, a cotton petticoat with silk chain-stitch embroidery, c. 1750-1800
  • LACMA M.2007.211.814, man’s uncut waistcoat, silk satin with silk tambour embroidery, France, c. 1760
  • Centraal Museum 19759, a tambour-embroidered petticoat, c. 1760
  • National Trust 1363240, triple-flounced muslin sleeve ruffle outlined in tambour and worked in Dresden work, c. 1760-1770
  • Colonial Williamsburg 2017-314, a red silk satin sleeved waistcoat, quilted to shape with tambour embroidery, England, 1770
  • National Trust 1360756, a robe à l’anglaise made of tambour-embroidered cream satin probably from France, c. 1770-1780
  • Colonial Williamsburg 2017-296, an uncut cotton waistcoat panel with silk tambour embroidery, made in England or France, c. 1770-1780
  • Colonial Williamsburg 1960-166, a waistcoat made of sheer cotton over pink silk with silk chain-stitch embroidery, probably made in France c. 1770-1780
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art 1940-13-6a,b, a silk taffeta waistcoat with silk tambour embroidery, probably made in France or England in the 1770s or 1780s and worn by Francis West of Philadelphia
  • Meg Andrews 8366, a long muslin apron completely covered in tambour embroidery and drawn work, c. 1770-1790
  • Colonial Williamsburg 1960-705, a silk waistcoat with silk tambour embroidery, England or France, c. 1770-1785
  • Winterthur 1970.0505, a silk pocketbook with the flap and button embroidered in tambour work, England, c. 1770-1800
  • Winterthur 1960.0172, a leather bag or pouch embroidered in silk tambour work, United States, c. 1770-1820
  • LACMA M.66.31a-b, a robe à l’anglaise and petticoat; dress made in England, textile embroidered in India c. 1775
  • V&A T.227-1914, a reticule embroidered in colored silks in tambour work on satin, made in England c. 1775-1779
  • V&A T.391-1970, a cotton gown with an English back; cotton embroidered in Gujarat c. 1740-1760 (“The fabric would have been imported as piece-goods”) and sewn into a gown in England c. 1775-1785
  • Museum Rotterdam 20874, a waistcoat in cream silk with tambour embroidery in silk, c. 1775-1785
  • Colonial Williamsburg 1951-272, a cream silk waistcoat with colored silk tambour work, probably France. c. 1775-1790
  • Fries Museum T1957-233, a fichu/handkerchief with naturalistic flowers in silk tambour embroidery, c. 1775-1799
  • Centraal Museum 4490, a cotton petticoat embroidered with floral patterns, c. 1775-1800
  • Gemeentemuseum Den Haag 0304023, a cream satin waistcoat with tambour embroidery, c. 1780
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art 1943-17-7, a quilted ivory silk satin waistcoat with silk tambour embroidery, made in France in the 1780s and worn by Tench Francis, Jr., of Pennsylvania (d. 1800)
  • Colonial Williamsburg 1960-704, a waistcoat in yellow-green weft-ribbed silk embroidered with chain-stitched rosebuds, probably tambour work, c. 1780-1790
  • National Trust 1362788, a square muslin handkerchief, “the edges embroidered in tambour in small sprigs, spots and leaf sprays, the embroidery worked that when the buffon is folded triangulary it is all uppermost as in the manner of later turnover shawls,” c. 1780-1797
  • Fries Museum T1956-499, a white cotton fichu with white tambour embroidery, c. 1780-1799
  • MFA 48.1169a/b, dark green satin waistcoat front with silk tambour embroidery with a hunt scene, made in France c. 1780-1800
  • Museum Rotterdam 65652, a champagne-colored silk waistcoat with tambour embroidery, c. 1780-1800
  • MFA 50.2465, right front of a waistcoat, white silk satin with silk tambour embroidery in floral sprays and flowering streamers, made in France c. 1780-1800
  • Winterthur 2001.0037.007, a double-breasted silk waistcoat with tambour embroidery, assembled in Philadelphia from waistcoat fronts made in England or France, c. 1780-1810
  • National Trust 1366460, a fine cotton muslin apron decorated with tambour embroidery in white cotton thread, c. 1780-1820
  • Manchester 1956.342, a sari-length piece of white muslin embroidered with small rings in tambour work, probably Indian, c. 1780-1820
  • Winterthur 2013.0048.026, a cotton apron with tambour embroidery and open work, c. 1780-1830
  • Museum of London 51.20/1, a dress and petticoat made of fine Indian muslin decorated with tambour embroidery, 1790; “this dress probably has been embroidered by professionals. The decoration features birds and flowers and the garment has been embroidered ‘to shape’, which means that the embroiderer knew what the fabric was going to be used for.”
  • Colonial Williamsburg 1991-479, a changeable silk waistcoat embroidered in silk tambour work, made in England or France c. 1790
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art 1943-17-2, an ivory cotton twill waistcoat with gilt metallic tambour work, made in England c. 1790-1795 and worn by Tench Francis, Jr., of Pennsylvania (d. 1800)
  • V&A T.196&A-1914, a pair of shoes with cut-out patterns on the vamps revealing an underlay of tambour-embroidered satin, made in Great Britain in the 1790s
  • Tambour-embroidered pointed flat shoes, France, c. 1790-1805
  • Meg Andrews 8327, a linen embroidered waistcoat with tambour embroidery in a guilloche design, 1790s
  • Fries Museum T1956-510, a white fichu with black tambour embroidery, c. 1790-1799
  • Fries Museum T1956-500, a white fichu with silk tambour embroidery, c. 1790-1799
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art 1930-76-1, an ivory silk satin waistcoat with multicolored silk and metal thread embroidery in tambour work, made in England or France, c. 1790-1800
  • Gemeentemuseum Den Haag 1022128, a silk satin waistcoat with tambour embroidery, c. 1790-1800
  • Karen Augusta 2433, a pair of embroidered muslin mitts with a trailing floral design in tambour work, embellished with tiny spangles, United States, c. 1790-1800
  • A four-panel tambour-embroidered reticule made by Mary Boggs Tremaine (c. 1790-1810) from a Loyalist family that moved from New Jersey to Nova Scotia
  • Manchester 1947.3236, a piece of white muslin with a stem and leaf pattern embroidered in tambour work, late 18th century
  • MFA 40.762, cotton with cotton tambour embroidery, French, late 18th or early 19th century
  • Manchester 1947.3237, piece of embroidered muslin, part of a dress, embroidered with vertical bands in a grapevine pattern in tambour work, late 18th century
  • Manchester 1947.3238, piece of embroidered muslin, probably from a dress (possibly the train) tambour-embroidered with a rose pattern, late 18th century
  • Winterthur 1981.0093, a pincushion and needlecase made at the Moravian School in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, c. 1790-1820
  • MFA 42.677, an apron made of white embroidered India cotton gauze with cotton tambour embroidery, made in the United States c. 1800
  • Centraal Museum 7926, a white twill directoire gown with tambour work in a grape pattern, c. 1800