ANNE WANNER'S Textiles in History / publications

World exhibitions and design, 1851 - 1878, as shown in publications from Leipzig
published in: CIETA-Bulletin No 75, 1998, p. 153 - 160, by Anne Wanner-JeanRichard

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  Early designers:  
  Reports on the international exhibitions of the mid 19th century state that the manufacturers were showing only their highest achievements, rather than what they were actually producing and selling every day. The exhibitions pieces included some large tablecloths and bedcovers elaborately worked with pictorial designs; for example a curtain showing the conspriators in the the Rütli plot, an historical event which brought about the foundation of Switzerland.

As already noted, a similar piece, depicting William Tell, was shown at the 1851 Exhibition by the firm of John Ulrick Tanner. It was also published in the Journal of Leipzig with the additional information that the curtain was made of muslin and applied silk fabric.
It was not illustrated, but a curtain depicting William Tell appeared on the art market in 1981 and is now in the Swiss National Musuem in Züricn (5); the piece with the Rütli plot had been donated to the same museum in 1910 (6).
see also: (Pressetexte - Bilder)
The size of both curtains is about two by two meters. Yet another example from the 1851 Exhibition was made by a famous company in the city of St Gallen, and is today in the Textilemuseum of St Gallen, it measures 1.6 by 1.6 metres. The entry (No 208) in the English catalogue reads:

- STAEHELI-WILD, C., St Gall - Manufacturer. Table-cloth or bedcover; superfine embroidery. Another, the same design, in fine long-stitch; the price of this last is only a fifth of the first.
Curtains, muslin, white embroidered.

  Handkerchief, French cambric, &c.
Net-white embroidery. Muslin. Collar on French cambric; and on muslin, fine embroidery and long-stitch.
Insertions on muslin. Gentleman's shirt and waistcoat on French cambric.
All designed by Mr. Herrmann Schlatter at St Gall.

The archives of St Gallen show that Herrmann Schlatter (19.12.1813-16.9.1887) arrived here from Herisau (canton of Appenzell) in 1844 and worked as a designer in the firm of Staeheli-Wild for over 40 years (7); he and Johann Ulrich Rohner (born 1820, originated from Wolfhalden) are the first Swiss textile designers whose names are known. Rohner was mentioned in a St Gallen report of 1843 (8), where it was also noted that an embroidery designer must understand the characteristics of fine whitework embroidery and, above all, must know how to use raised work and appliqué to greatest effect. In addition to taste and a feeling for art and manual skill, a designer should also have a good knowledge of textile techniques if his patterns were to be practicable. Rohner designed embroidery motifs from his very own ideas, which means that he did not use patterns from Paris

Wilhelm Koch (5.12.1823-13.11.1897) lived in the same period of the 19th century; he came to St.Gallen from Germany and he won many prizes for his relief embroideries.

5 -
NZZ (Neue Zuercher Zeitung), No. 47, Zuerich, 26th february 1982: exhibition of new acquisitions of 1981 in the Swiss National Museum of Zuerich.
6 - Schneider, Jenny,
Textilien, Katalog der Sammlung des Schweizerischen Landesmuseums Zuerich, 1975, p. 182.
7 - Johannes Stauffacher,
Studienreisen, St. Gallen 1897, p. 257.
8 - H. Schinz,
Bericht über die Schweiz. Gewerbs- und Industrie-Ausstellung in St. Gallen, 1843.

Section of tablecloth made by Staeheli-Wild
centre with coat of arms (lion, unicorn, inscription: "honni soit qui mal y pense")

Section of tablecloth made by Staeheli-Wild
which won an award in the 1851 Great Exhibition


  London Designers Reports Machines Style Later 19th c.  

content Last revised July 29, 2004