Carding Wool, a scene in an Irish Cottage
File Type:JPEG image
Citation:Christie's, Catalogue, 12 June 1992
cgjc1690.jpg (JPEG image) 568.5Kb
Description:Brownlow's 'Carding wool: a Scene in an Irish cottage' from 1861, has the three generations busy close to floor-level turf fire. A crook hangs down with a pot beneath, in a recess that sets the arched hearth back slightly from the room. Close by is a griddle, and to the left hand a pair of pot hangers and a smoothing iron. There are recessed keeping holes for anything that needs to be kept dry. The women's red petticoats (as the skirts were known), are again indicative of the west, as are the pampooties: soft shoes made from hide. They are wearing tradition blue-and-white wool stockings which had no soles but gave protection to their shins. The so-called Big wheel which is being used for spinning wool also reinforces the western location. Brownlow's title, which he inscribed on the back of the painting, refers to the work of the grandmother, whose stick and covered head indicate her age and seniority. Having washed the wool, she is now carding it, a combing process which lays the strands parallel and ready to be spun between her daughter's fingers and onto the spinning spindle, to make woolen yarn. She has two round baskets, a deep one from which she takes the washed, raw wool, and a shallow skib into which she places the carded rolls or 'rolags' which is what the combed hanks were called.' (Claudia Kinmonth, 'Irish Rural Interiors in Art, Yale University Press, 2006) This painting is one of a pair with a painting titled 'The Fisherman's Family' (image cgjc1691). For another painting of a similar interior scene by Brownlow titled 'The Spinning Lesson' (see image cgjc1688). This painting is signed and dated by the artist.
Dimensions/Extent:23.4 cm x 31.2 cm
Type of material:Image
Availability:Full text available