Silk Embroidery of Pictorial Motifs,

Germany, circa 1830

sight size: 20½” x 23½” framed size: 24” x 27½” • price: $6400

We occasionally come across extraordinarily fine silk embroideries made by northern European needleworkers that feature a great assortment of wonderful pictorial elements accomplished in the finest needlework. This is a very aesthetically appealing example of this form. 

Included are a great assortment of highly detailed flowers and wonderfully whimsical vignettes - a dog pulling a cart filled with flowers, small scene of a fine house on a hill and a squirrel and a bird. The striped animal on a hillock with a berry tree is a young wild boar ("frischling" in German). The largest image, an outstanding latticework basket of flowers set on a plinth, is filled with beautiful flowers. All of the silk embroidery shows the great skill of the needleworker as she worked the lustrous silk with variegated shading and details. The rhythmic garlands of flowers on delicate leafy vines along the bottom also offer great appeal.

This closely resembles other German examples published in Patterns and Motifs by Anne Wanner-Jean Richard of the St. Gallen Textile Museum in Switzerland (1996), specifically catalogue #184 and #185. These “seidenmuster”, or “silk patterns” are said to come from the pattern books of Johann Friedrich Netto (German, active 1795–1809).

Worked in silk on fine glazed cotton, this is in excellent condition. It has been conservation mounted and is a period maple veneer frame. 


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