ANNE WANNER'S Textiles in History / publications

Swiss Whitework Embroideries
a paper, given at the CIETA meeting of 1989 in Chicago USA, by Anne Wanner-JeanRichard

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  With the aera of world exhibitions the documents become more numerous. There is a picture of an embroidery in a newspaper of Leipzig of 1856. It shows the exhibition of Paris 1856 and almost all the details of the curtain are known, but the piece itself is not conserved.
The specimen table-cloth made for the London world exhibition of 1851 can be seen at St. Gallen. In the center there are the royal English arms with the caption "Honni soit qui mal y pense". Another detail shows fine satinstitch and lace stitch.

The exhibitions of the second half of 19th century help to date some more swiss embroideries. In the Collection of Stuttgart (Germany) there is a handkerchief from the exhibition in Berne 1857. In St. Gallen there are 2 very similar embroideries. The chinese or oriental influenced motives are probably the result of some Swiss expeditions to the east. We know of trips to India, China, Japan in the years 1840, 1843 1858. Also important in those years was the railway. On the same handkerchief there is the motive of a railway.

  In 1848 there were 20 km of railway in Switzerland and 1860 already a thousand km. These facts make it possible to date the embroideery in the 1850s.

A handkerchief with swiss embroidery in Hamburg shows monuments of Paris, for instance the Opera which was built in 1874, Similar monuments shows the handkerchief with Hotel Tamina in Ragaz. It is an example for Swiss tourism.
Another handkerchief was exposed at the world exhibition of 1889 in Paris. It shows satin and lace stitches. In these years swiss embroiderers developped a special application technique, the so called "point relief". So far I have not found this kind in other countries.

A group of samplers can also be dated in the second half of 19th century. The fine drawn work was made by ladies of Appenzell and we know the dates of life of two of them: 1819-1872 and 1827-1908.
Another example shows monograms and the inscription of the manufacturer: Huber Studer & Co. The american eagle proves that the american market was important.


Detail of Handkerchief exposed 1857 in Berne
designed by Wilhelm Koch
today in Collection in Stuttgart, Inv.Nr. GT 2073


Detail from Handkerchief with Palm Tree,
in the Collection of the Textilemuseum at St. Gallen


Handkerchief shown at Paris World Exhibition of 1889,
by the St. Gallen Firm Sturzenegger,
designed by Ludwig Otto Werder (1868-1902)

Detail of Handkerchief


Sampler embroidered
by Antonia Faessler-Doerig (1827-1908)



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