The ancient craft of needlepoint, also known a ‘canvas needle-work’, ‘canvas embroidery’ or ‘petit point’ ﬂourished most notably in England and France. Executed with wool yarn on jute, hemp, or linen canvas until the latter was replaced by cotton around 1825, needlepoints are easily identified by their distinctive stitches—the tent stitch or petit point, and gros point. English needlepoints, renowned for their profuse ﬂoral motifs, reached an artistic zenith in 1700-1750 but were produced through the end of the nineteenth century. Mainly used as table carpets, the earliest pieces, dating from 1550-1650, exhibited scrolls of ﬂowers with pictorial and heraldic motifs. Eighteenth-century pieces reveal the inﬂuence of contemporary artistic movements including baroque, chinoiserie, neoclassical, and rococo.
In the Victorian era, needlepoints featuring large ﬂowers—such as hydrangeas, cabbage roses, and exotic species often combined with scrolls, cartouches, landscapes, and animals—were the ultimate fashion statement. Victorian pieces may also include geometric, Caucasian-style, or stained-glass elements, a byproduct of Gothic Revival inﬂuence. The introduction of aniline dyes in the nineteenth century generated new color schemes, namely black backgrounds and hues such as “nightgreen," mauve, and magenta. The production of French needlepoints, whose earliest examples date to the seventeenth century, was more limited. While sharing English needlepoints' characteristics, they generally recreated formal Aubusson and Savonnerie patterns. Eighteenth-century pieces include chinoiserie and rococo motifs and the architectural attributes typical of the Directoire style while nineteenth—century examples became predominantly ﬂoral with the revival of Louis XIV, Louis XV, and Louis XVI styles. Chinese reproductions of French and English patterns and European rugs first crafted in the 1920s and revived again in the 1980s, often rival their rare antecedents in quality and authenticity of pattern and coloration. Moreover, new contemporary and transitional patterns have emerged, ensuring the longevity of the needlepoint art form.An Exceptional Collection of Needlepoint Rugs for Sale