Lace panel, "Judith and Holofernes", needle lace, linen / silk / human hair, maker unknown, England, mid 1600s
This needle lace panel depicts the slaughter of Holofernes by Judith. Judith is the central figure as befits her heroic status. She is brandishing a sword in her right hand and holds Holofernes head by the hair in her left hand. Her maid holds a bag ready to receive the head. Behind Judith's sword there appears to be a serpent. To her right Holofernes lies with silk 'blood' (once probably red, now pink) pouring from his severed neck. The hair on all their heads, and in Holofernes' beard, is stitched with strands of human hair. The spaces around the figures are filled with scroll forms and stylised flowers and leaves, and each vertical border is an ornamented column.