Mounting Ankhsenspaaten

Slightly blurred photo, showing part of the seed stitched Head of Ankhsenspaaten against a burgundy chenille background.

After some thought, I decided to take the inspiration of mounting for the Head of Ankhsenspaaten from Victorian mounts for minaiture portraits, so I went to my local framer, who goes by the not-at-all-exaggerated business name of “Framing Genius” (seriously, quite apart from any headaches I may give her, I’ve seen some of the other things she’s been asked to do!), and we worked out what size of oval would work for this idea. Then her clever computer controlled cutter cut out an oval that was exactly the size and proportions I wanted.

Close up of the use of a curved needle to ladder stitch the golden silk to the burgundy chenille.

Further thought, and some playing with cards and fabrics, helped me to decide to use for her background the same burgundy chenille upholstery fabric that I eventually used to mount the Colossus of Akhenaten. None of the Amarna pieces are going behind glass – if eventual owners wish to do so, that’s their prerogative, but I like the immediacy of feeling you get, looking at a fabric or thread without any glass in the way – so the next job was to stretch the burgundy over a wooden frame and use that wretched curved needle to ladder stitch the two together.

Assembly finished, the oval of golden silk set against the burgundy fabric.

I may be being unfair. I still don’t find a curved needle at all natural to use, but I am at least beginning not to whimper every time I look at it. It’s very useful for the purpose I’m using it for!

Once I had her neatly mounted, I sat back for some of my usual Thoughtful Staring.

The original inspiration sometimes had a cord or ribbon trim around the oval of the miniature – maybe as it stands the transition is a little abrupt?

A golden cord has been added around the golden oval. It's still a bit uneven, so I need to tweak the placement a bit better.

I’ve a small collection of odd metallic cords bought at an Embroiderer’s Guild Sale, so I rummaged in that, and found something that might work.

Then I looked a little harder and realised that the thread I had used to attach the oval to the velvet would show. For the first time, I found a use for the Peri-Lusta Invisible Thread I found in my Grandmama’s workbox!

I’ve not got the gold thread quite correctly placed yet (I ran out of patience with myself at this point), so I need to spend a bit of time tweaking that, but I think where it is in the right place it is definitely improving the look.


  1. Sue Jones says:

    The gold border does provide the connection you need between the mount and the background, without distracting from the subtle stitching, which is a delight on this piece. Successful thinking!

  2. what a grand combination of things all coming together as one. This works really well, the gold border just the right touch.
    Isn’t whimpering at the sight of curved needles a perfectly rational reaction?

  3. Whimpering or not, you have tamed the curved needle so the head sits nicely on the burgundy chenille background. Well done!
    Yes, the gold edge is an added bonus and lets the eye travel between the golden oval and the burgundy rectangle.

  4. Carolyn Foley says:

    The gold edge sets it off well, a great result.

  5. Lin says:

    The gold will make a nice finish to the beautiful piece.

  6. Jillayne says:

    Beautifully done – and congratulations at having a skilled framer at hand. There’s something quite wonderful at having someone bring your vision to life. Like all the others, I love this piece… the softly coloured stitching is beautiful in it’s subdued palette.

  7. Alex Hall says:

    Thoughtful Staring is clearly a great concept!

  8. Amo says:

    The braid certainly works! I guess there’s quite a gap with the ‘pebble’ sitting off the background like that.