Solve the Mystery! *** UPDATE! SOLVED! Scroll to bottom!***

I bought this beautiful, framed silk embroidery, last week on a trip to Maine. It was purchased at Liberty Tool, in Liberty, Maine. I was even able to take it to a free appraisal day at an auction house in a neighboring town. The few things I know, the embroidery dates to about 1850, the frame to 1902. Thankfully, framing kept it clean and in great shape. However, the lack of acid free mounting has made it very fragile. This is how I found it.


I plan to re-frame and enjoy it’s beauty. No quilting of this piece! Now, the mystery. I have had it on my Facebook page, out to many foreign friends, and no one can exactly distinguish the word or origin. The appraiser thought it could be Asian stitched, the possible middle word, “dai”, is possibly Japanese detection, says Google. I’ve asked Mary Corbet, who has inquired with other embroidery experts, with no answers. She thought it might be Thai.


We removed it from the frame and now I am enjoying the beauty before I frame it again. My question to you is, what does it say? Is it a surname, a warm welcome, a brand, a first name? The stitching is amazing. The individual who embroidered this would have spent a lot of hours stitching, so maybe it was a gift. Following are some close up pictures in varying light. The last image has been photoshopped in black and white. That may help you distinguish the letters. I’ve looked at it every day for a week and still am not 100% sure!










Thanks in advance if you spend time on this puzzle! The unknown is driving me and a few others, crazy!

***A HUGE thank you to Kathy, a follower here who emailed me last night. After recognizing the origin, she sent a photo to a Greek cousin, who in turn took it to her Greek church festival yesterday! It is Greek and translates to, “this too shall pass”!!! Which, by the way, is my mantra! There could be nothing more perfect than this saying for me. I’ll be framing it soon and enjoy it’s original beauty! Thanks to all of you who attempted the puzzle 🙂


  1. Leave a Reply

    August 20, 2016

    This may be from India, Goa more specifically. I’ve contacted the Goan Dictionary page to see.

  2. Leave a Reply

    Pat Hanna
    August 20, 2016

    I notice that the “a” in each of the first two words has a kind of accent mark above it. The “a” in the final word does not. This might be a clue to the language.

  3. Leave a Reply

    Pat Hanna
    August 20, 2016

    Extraordinary embroidery, by the way. The style looks European as opposed to Asian to me.

  4. Leave a Reply

    August 20, 2016

    Would you type out the word as you think it is? I still can not distinguish the letters.

    • Leave a Reply

      [email protected]
      August 20, 2016

      Hi Melanie, at this point even I’m not sure of the letters because the script is difficult to distinguish.

  5. Leave a Reply

    August 20, 2016

    I think it’s a surname Kiava from what I’ve found. The rest I think is one word because there’s only one capital letter. Looks like J’queoaou maybe. I’ve done some searches and nothing yet except Kiava is a name. It’s beautiful.

  6. Leave a Reply

    August 21, 2016

    does Hawaii have a tradition of embroidery like this? Maybe from the missionary schools? I really hope someone can nail this for you, and look forward to finding out what the answer is.

  7. Leave a Reply

    August 21, 2016

    I didn’t think it was Thai or Japanese because it is the wrong alphabet.

  8. Leave a Reply

    Barbara Wise
    August 21, 2016

    Asked a quilting friend from Thailand who said, no, not Tai and she asked a Vietnamese friend and the answer also is no. Hmmmm.

  9. Leave a Reply

    August 21, 2016

    Looks a lot like Greek to me, with an omega starting the last word.

  10. Leave a Reply

    August 25, 2016

    How Exciting! See how far and wide your readership goes Kelly?
    Puzzles like these are always intriguing.
    The world of needle arts knows no boundaries.

  11. Leave a Reply

    marlene stabin
    September 23, 2016

    My mother use to say that phrase all the time. This too shall pass.

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