ANNE WANNER'S Textiles in History   /  book reviews, articles

  Leopold Iklé - a passionate collector, by Anne Wanner-JeanRichard, hgg. Textilmuseum St.Gallen, mit Beiträgen von Marianne Gächter-Weber und Cordula M. Kessler Loertscher,
St. Gallen 2002
in german language, 56 pages, coloured illustrations
ISBN 3-9520007-4-4
sFr. 25.-

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Leopold Iklé (1838-1922), textile industrialist, connoisseur and explorer of textile works of art donated his first valuable collection of historic textiles to the then Industry and Textile Museum, today's Textile Museum. In the course of the last 100 years or so, further objects from Iklé's second collection have also found their way into the Textile Museum.
In her bequest of 1999, Gertrud Calame-Iklé, a granddaughter of Adolf Iklé's, who with his elder brother Leopold, ran the company Iklé Frères in St. Gallen, provided for the establishment of the Iklé-Frischknecht Foundation. The aim of this foundation is to promote, manage and preserve the Leopold Iklé Collection in the St.Gallen Textile Museum.
It was not only at the time when Leopold Iklé retired from his successful business life that his extensive interest in textiles and their cultural history was kindled, an interest which he shared with a friend of his who was 20 years his junior, the Abbey librarian Adolf Fäh (1858-1932). Even in his mature years, he looked for significant, sometimes large-scale works such as lace covers with figurative representations.

chasuable, embroidery 16th century,
northern germany
Inv. Nr. TM 23835

  Even in Iklés own time, these very valuable, unique objects were unlikely to have been simply on offer on the art market. Jointly, the two friends deciphered the iconography of the biblical representations on lace, fabrics and embroideries, which meant a great deal to the collector. Together they published two extensive volumes on lace and embroideries from the Leopold Iklé Collection which contain numerous high-quality illustrations and which attract a great deal of attention.

Textile objects of outstanding quality reveal the collector's very wide-ranging interests. They can be dated to the time between the 6th and 18th centuries and extend far beyond the first collection goal, namely to provide models and a source of inspiration for the industrial production of embroideries.


detail of linen embroidery, Annunciation,
eastern Switzerland, 1st half 16th c.
Inv.Nr. TM 43160

detail from chasuable, 16th century,
northern germany
Inv. Nr. TM 23835


home   content Last revised November 22, 2002

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