Gorgeous illustrated manuscript work book for embroidery, 1870s-90s
Vicktorine HOFER: ARBEITSBUCH [Illustrated manuscript work book for embroidery]. S.l. [Austria]: s.a. [ca. 1870-1890].
Verkauft / Sold
Vicktorine HOFER: ARBEITSBUCH [Illustrated manuscript work book for embroidery]. 44, where of 11 coloured ink and pencil drawings with accompanying texts and legends mainly in cursive script, protected by tissue-guards. S.l. [Austria]: s.a. [ca. 1870-1890].
8to.  leaves (5 blank) of cardboard. Red, blue and black ink and pencil on thick paper, bound in original ruby red cloth with gilt calligraphic title printing, blind stamped frames with ornamental decoration and white silk end papers.
Gorgeous manuscript work book for „Gründerzeit“ embroidery, lace making and knitting, with multicolour elaborate drawings of high accuracy.
Content: Present manuscript working book of an Austrian woman named Vicktorine Hofer delivers a detailed insight into the techniques and materials, aesthetics and media of artisan embroidery, lace making and knitting as well as its dissemination in the second half of the 19th century. In the Biedermeier era, needlework as a leisure activity had no longer remained a privilege of aristocratic women but had gained in importance also in bourgeois women circles. It was cultivated at tea parties or family gatherings and became institutional during the „Gründerzeit“.
Handy collections of lavishly crafted specimen with patterns mostly depicting floral or geometric motifs as well as elaborately drawn manuscript work books like the present were compiled, increasing in difficulty from simple techniques and motifs (Holbein technique, Wiener Kreuzstich [Viennese cross stitch]) to complicated, multi-coloured (Arab technique, Reticella, Venetian). The accompanying texts with explanations and legends are written in beautiful Kurrent. The partly coloured pencil and ink drawings of present „Arbeitsbuch“, all of the drawn with high accuracy, bear remarks like „sehr gut“ (very good), „vorzüglich“ (exquisite) or „ausgezeichnet“ (excellent), written in beautiful calligraphic writing by a second hand with ink in different colours, lead to the assumption, that Vicktorine’s work book was that of a student tutored by someone else.
Condition: Cover minimally worn, some of the tissue guards slightly creased, overall a fine unique piece in a superb binding.