Dated to 1740-2 by the late authority on 18th Century silks, Natalie Rothstein, this panel represents the apogee of the production of brocaded silks designed in an interpretation of the Rococo style depicting naturalistic flowers and foliage on graceful stems that the English silk weavers of the Spitalfields area of London excelled at. This verisimilitude was in no small part due to the adoption of the French points rentrés technique that dovetailed two adjoining colours to achieve a softer, three dimensional appearance, particularly evident in the foliage of this panel. Many of these silks were expensive purchases, sold by mercers to be made up into furnishings, women’s dresses and men’s waistcoats and nightgowns (informal garments worn at home). Labour intensive to produce by experienced weavers, their cost depended upon the quality of the materials and the number of processes involved in their manufacture. Consequently, care was taken to make best use of luxurious threads. The technique of brocading, employing supplementary weft threads for the patterned elements, limited coloured silks to the areas of the motif alone. Similarly the liberal amount of once dazzling silver thread used on this panel has been mainly restricted to its upper side. The thread was wound around a pale silk core which can be seen here where the silver has worn away. As it was so valuable, it was weighed before and after the weaving process to prevent pilfering. The vertical stripe running down the ground of the silk foreshadows an emphasis upon self-coloured background designs that were to characterise brocaded silks a few years later.