We've been doing major decluttering this summer. I was going through a trunk, that I had put some of my mom's things in shortly after she died in 2006, when I found this. I almost donated it, thinking that it was one of the many vintage textiles that she bought at a yard sale. My thoughts were that it was, after all, a bit tattered and not finished. I was committed to decluttering.
Then I noticed that the writing at the bottom was French. That didn't seem to fit with my thoughts about its provenance. Upon further notice, I discovered the word "Buisine". I almost screamed out loud. That was my paternal great-grandmother's maiden name. She was, as you may have guessed, French. Her name was Clotilde Buisine. Thus the C. I just learned last week that par in French means by, as in par avion which was usually written on my great-aunt's letters to me from Canada. I guessed that it said, "Made by C. Buisine aged eight years." I wasn't far off. Google translate gave me, "Made by C. Buisine eight years old." That would have been in 1878, 135 years ago. No wonder it looks a bit tattered. I wonder why she never finished it?
Even more, I wonder why my grandma never showed it to me? Or my mom when she got it. She must have gotten it when Grandma died. I am so thankful that I realized what it is before it was too late.
The piece is about 20" square and done in needlepoint. I can't even imagine an eight year old needlepointing something like this today.