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Nannette 1837

19th Century | Switzerland

I saw Nannette's rose border from the Biedermeier period for the first time in Julie Landis' book "Rosen der Erinnerung" in 1993. It is a small, romantic booklet presenting among other things one half of a cross-stitch sampler. Ms. Landis from Aarau in Switzerland did understand my enthusiasm and inquisitiveness about the complete sampler. She left a large photo to me and made contact to the owners in France.

I took great delight in working the piece using a magnifying glass, a pencil, checked paper, patterns of symbols and stitching equipment with many interruptions over the years. In 2004 Julie Landis obtained permission for me to launch a reproduction sampler chart. A big thank you to all!

Nannette Haessig, a diligent girl from Aarau/Switzerland, began to stitch the sampler on very fine linen in the needlework lessons of Mistress Oelhafen in June 1837. Both surnames belong to old families in the town.

The size of the original sampler is only 57 x 21 cm. The longer Nannette was working the piece, the more she used the different colours. Her sampler is a masterpiece of the embroidery skills in the Biedermeier period.

Most young women of the upper classes have been stitching samplers like this one in the years between 1815 and 1848 in order to pass the time with ornate needlework. The sampler maker stitched different rows of alphabets and numbers with a multitude of beautiful colours as a compulsory exercise. She completed the free section showing all her skills: The large capital letters of the delicate floral alphabet have been designed by tiny different flowers. A broad rose border closes the section of alphabets and numbers.

Nannette composed the bottom portion of her piece by stitching a beautiful wreath of roses and her needlework teacher's name, Mistress Oelhafen, whom the sampler is dedicated to. The wreath is the most important motif of the Biedermeier period, the symbol of closeness and friendship. This sumptuous wreath, a basket overflowing with fruit, a flower arrangement, the group of weeping willows with urn and romantic landscapes in harmonious hues pass on the sensitive atmosphere of those days.

The rose appears several times. The queen of flowers became the symbol for love and for sensuality, she was even consecrated to Venus and to the Virgin Mary.

Crosses: 218 x 603
Size: 31 x 86 cm
Stitches: Cross stitch, running stitch

Chart: 24,00 €
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