'The Needlewoman'

One of my favourite periods for colour is the 1930s. Generally muted and with sophisticated combinations.

These are editions of 'The Needlewoman'; in its way, the 'Mollie Makes' of it's time. Each magazine came with a free embroidery transfer. This batch of six magazines I have still contains four of the original transfers.

The covers are simply gorgeous, being mostly illustrated; I wonder if in eighty years time our era of brightly photographed craft magazines will be as admired?

Beautiful as they are, and much as I love them, I've put them up for sale. I've enjoyed having them, but I'm not an embroiderer, so they've become part of the big clear out.


Now this set of embroidery booklets I will be truly sorry to sell, if anyone buys them. I half hope they don't. This is a complete set of 'Pearsalls Embroidery', sold periodically from 1908 to 1909.

They are letter pressed onto thick cream sugar paper, so that you can see the indentation of the type when you hold the page to the light. There are only a few colour plates, but in their time they would have been a quality publication.

Although I don't embroider, I just love the design, graphics and illustrations, so typically Edwardian, with a flavour of the Arts and Crafts movement.

A lot more was demanded of the average person's crafting skill in those days - no catering to the bottom line, but sophisticated designs which required actual knowledge or the ability to apply oneself to learning. 

It's quite a thought that they are nearly 120 years old, which makes them proper antiques. And that the six editions have stayed together for all that time.

The small adverts are quite wonderful, with 'Miss Strawson' advertising her designs 'Ye Signe of Ye Spindle' and 'Mrs Evershed' plying her 'church and decorative needlework'. They sound almost Dickensian, especially 'F.W Catt' selling 'specialité waistcoats for working in silk, wool, and chenille'. 

Just in case there are any collectors of old embroidery publications reading this, they are on sale at my eBay shop for a few more days. Much as I'd like to keep them, I'd like to sell them more, to someone who appreciates them as much as I do.


Karren said...

Those are lovely old publications. Isn't it nice to imagine all those homemakers stitching away their hours and making beautiful things from those pages? We're in the process of clearing out too, getting ready to sell our country home in Indiana. It's a good thing others are still accumulating, so we can find a new home for all our treasures. We sell them on ebay too. http://stores.ebay.com/OwlsHaven?_rdc=1

rossichka said...

This is a real treasure!! Have you thought to offer it to a museum whe
re there're similar collections?

Caroline B said...

Wow, fantastic books! I love to embroider but rarely get the time these days - I hope someone buys them who will really appreciate these treasures.

Lin said...

WOW. I hope someone comes along and enjoys them as much as you too. What a treasure for that special someone.