While looking for something else, I found the envelope with the earlier Holbein rug in it, so hauled it out to finish that up. This rug is taken from a painting, and is very dark; I wasn't sure about it, but decided it is kind of interesting in its simplicity and dark colouring. Once upon a time, everything was sort of dark, as we were dependent upon natural wool colours or on plant dyes, which tended to fade over time. Deep, colourful dyestuffs were incredibly expensive, like the shells used for royal (Tyrian) purple, or Mexican cochineal beetles for vivid red.
The swirling designs are the original swastika design, often used in early East Indian art; the swirls go in the opposite direction from the bad one, and it represents the Wheel of Life. I just have to edge the two long edges on this one, and fringe the shorter ones.
The Tudor era Holbein rug is nearly done; I am close to running out of the coppery thread so am trying to see how far I can get with it. If I run out, I will have to try to find a matching substitute or try a blended needle (two different coloured threads that "read" as one colour). The original thread is Anchor, which I can't get here; however, there is a DMC colour that appears to be a very close match.
I need just enough to finish the borders, and I have about a meter and a bit left over; split in three-strand threads, it may be enough. There is enough of all the other colours for me to try to make some matching cushions and perhaps a bench top, but I will use the matching shade for those. The little floral designs in the diamonds are different; I am not really used to these in rugs, mostly they seem to use geometric or paisley shapes, although my parents had a hall runner with a design of hunters. That one was very unusual to me!
For a year, when I was a young adult, I lived in a country that produces some of the world's best-known carpets; I was told early on that the best ones stay right there, and that only the not-so-great ones were exported, because people outside of that country didn't appreciate them sufficiently. My very favourite carpet there was a huge, palace-room carpet done primarily in cream and deep brown, with lots of cobalt blue and some tan for accents, in a peacock-feather pattern. I would walk to the showroom where that one was displayed, drooling, and knowing full well that it was entirely out of my budget. But I really did love that carpet!