Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Biddenden Maids Embroidery

Mary and Elisa Chulkhurst are the Biddenden Maids. Conjoined twins supposedly born in Biddenden, Kent, England, in the year 1100. They are said to have been joined at both the shoulder and the hip, and to have lived for 34 years. It is claimed that on their death they gave five plots of land to the village, known as the Bread and Cheese Lands. The income from these lands was used to pay for an annual dole of food and drink to the poor every Easter. Since at least 1775, the dole has included Biddenden cakes, hard biscuits imprinted with an image of two conjoined women. It is doubtful that the maids existed. There has never been a record of twins joined at the hip and shoulder, and some researchers have suggested that the women printed on the biscuit were meant to be the image of poor widows to whom the charity was given.

This is my embroidered tribute to the extraordinary, imaginary creatures and their lovely story. Hand embroidered with cotton floss on cotton canvas, approximately 8 and 3/4" x 11". Stretched over a paper board mount, matted and framed. One of a kind artwork.
You can find purchasing information on the Biddenden Maids at My Good Babushka.

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