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19th Century | Germany

We learn nothing!
It is simply beautiful, this flower alphabet! Most of the flowers you think to know: Are these digitalis, roses, daffodils, tulips, an iris, a bluebell, a colchicum? Flowers, buds, leaves and tendrils form a complex alphabet – delicately stitched in petit point with wool on canvas. This so-called "letter sampler" is part of the great textile stock housed by the Berlin Museum of Decorative Arts (inventory number 1883, 1622) and is only 26 cm high and 32 cm wide. The publishing house L. W. Wittich (1773 - 1832) in Berlin produced this flower alphabet (Regionaal Archief Rivierenland).

Very popular among stitchers of the Biedermeier period (approx. 1815-1848) were the most natural and romantic floral motifs: in floral borders and trimmings, in floral designs and alphabets. They made it possible to decorate individually, elaborately and extravagantly their small, numerous, and lovable gifts – also in the choice of colours and materials (beads, silk): tobacco pouches, braces, bags, cases, book covers, christening bonnets.

Who was the stitcher? When did she stitch the sampler? Who had designed the piece? All that remains open.

The Museum of European Cultures in Berlin has a sampler with the same alphabet, worked by Juliane Caroline Grohmann from Leipzig in 1838 (inventory number 18b 3 N9).

Ms. Ine Wenckebach of "Aller-Leih" in Berlin also owns a sampler of this floral embroidery design for Berlin wool work – additionally "filled" with small letters, and the "remembrance of my youth, by Silke Arp in 1852".

Since the letters J and Y were not included in the Latin alphabet in former days, they are probably missing in this embroidery pattern and therefore in the samplers as well.

A modern version of a similar sampler appeared in the magazine "Burda Special: Cross-stitch Alphabets" of 1988 – with the addition of the letters J and Y.

This way I would like to thank the staff of the Museum of Decorative Arts Berlin, who made it possible to study the sampler in 2006.

Crosses: 316 x 223
Size: 45 x 31,5 cm
Stitches: Cross stitch

Chart: 18,00 €
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