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Table Runner
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Title: Table Runner
Identifier: 979.6.936
Donor: Geoffrey Sayers
Item Date: 1850-1900
Creation Date: 2011
Location: Benares Historic House

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Description: A large rectangular runner in red wool. The border is finely embroidered in blue, yellow, pink, and green paisley-like scrolls and flowers with a lustrous thread. There is a 3.5 cm red fringe on each end. The embroidered border is 56.0 cm wide at the ends and narrows to 6.5 cm along the sides, leaving a plain red rectangle in the centre of the runner that is 132.0 x 39.5 cm. An embroidered line in yellow is stitched around the whole piece. The runner is hemmed in black thread with hand-stitching in a running stitch.

The table runner came into use in the middle ages as a way to protect the tablecloth from mess. As diners became less messy, table runners evolved to be used for mostly decorative purposes. With the addition of tassels, beading and embroidery table runners became a sign of opulence and wealth. Today table runners are used as table design often coordinated with other table wear as part of a set.
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   Virtual Museum of Canada