Mrs Charlotte Munn

A Portrait in Hair, 1770


This fascinating and unique profile has been entirely stitched using two shades of hair to depict a lady wearing a brocade dress sprigged with flowers, a finely worked lace shawl and a patterned cap trimmed with concertinaed ribbon. A label on the reverse names the lady as ‘Mrs Munn’ and credits the portrait worked around 1770 to ‘her grand daughter Mrs Berkeley of Biggin’.

Research shows the sitter to be Charlotte Mills who was married to James Munn, a carriage decorator and landscape painter. They had two children: Paul Sandy (the well-known watercolour artist) and Charlotte Elizabeth who married Charles Berkeley of Biggin Hall in 1797. One of their sons was Miles Joseph Berkeley, a vicar and one of the founders of the science of plant pathology. His wife, Cecilia Emma Campbell (1814-1881), was the talented creator of this painstaking portrait. She lived at Sibbertoft Vicarage in Marker Harborough.

Item Ref. 7119

Exhibited: Northamptonshire Sewing Prize Scheme Exhibition 187-?