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85/948-1 Valance, mantel drape, embroidered cotton, made by Isabella Murray (daughter-in-law of Sir Henry Parkes), Australia, 1885-1895. Click to enlarge.

Valance, mantel drape, embroidered cotton, made by Isabella Murray (daughter-in-law of Sir Henry Parkes), Australia, 1885-1895

Made in Australia, Oceania, 1885-1895.

This valance relates directly to the family of Sir Henry Parkes, a former premier of New South Wales and one of the founding fathers of the Australian constitution. It was made by his daughter-in-law, Isabella, who in 1884 married Varney Parkes. The previous year Isabella had accompanied Sir Henry on his tour of America and Europe after the marriage of her sister Mary to Varney. Whilst they were overseas Mary died suddenly. Isabella and Varney had five children, of whom three survived (Mary, Mu...

Summary

Object No.

85/948-1

Object Statement

Valance, mantel drape, embroidered cotton, made by Isabella Murray (daughter-in-law of Sir Henry Parkes), Australia, 1885-1895

Physical Description

Background of black satin cut into symmetrical design of central panel with a smaller panel on either side. The central panel of lillies, ferns and pink and purple flowers is embroidered in long and short satin stitch. The smaller panels have the the same motifs. The lower edge is gently scalloped and bound in a multicoloured braid of brown/gold/green/pale green/white which is stitched to the valance. A tassel in the same colours hangs from the central point of each of the sections. Spare tassels are included. The drape is backed in black satin.

Dimensions

Height

340 mm

Width

450 mm

Depth

30 mm

Production

Made

Australia, Oceania 1885-1895

Notes

Maker Isabella Murray (Daughter-in-law of Sir Henry Parkes)

History

Notes

Isabella Murray was one of three daughters of George Murray who in 1881 took as his second wife Mary Parkes, the second daughter of Sir Henry Parkes. Two of George Murray's daughters came out to Australia with him. Mary Murray married the youngest son of Sir Henry, Varney, in 1883 and died the same year. Twenty year old Isabella Murray accompanied Sir Henry Parkes to America and England in 1883 after his dismissal from office. The following year on her return to Australia she married Varney Parkes and went on to have five children of whom three survived (Mary, Murray and Norman). The family was often short of money as Varney had a chequered career as an architect, politician and business man and was notorious for his various affairs. Isabella left him to live in Edinburgh in 1899 and sought a divorce three years later. This was not granted and Isabella returned to Australia and raised her children alone, settling in Waverley.

Cite this Object

Harvard

Valance, mantel drape, embroidered cotton, made by Isabella Murray (daughter-in-law of Sir Henry Parkes), Australia, 1885-1895 2020, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 17 February 2020, <https://ma.as/53639>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/53639 |title=Valance, mantel drape, embroidered cotton, made by Isabella Murray (daughter-in-law of Sir Henry Parkes), Australia, 1885-1895 |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=17 February 2020 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

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