Friday, July 13, 2018

Cross Stitch Patterns From 1660 Vol. 1

Cross Stitch Patterns From 1660 Vol. 1 is the first of a 4 volume set of paperback reprints of Paul Fürst's 1660 Neue Modelbuch. There are a number of obsolete copyright free books which are being resurrected and presented to a new generation of artist/crafters.  That's undeniably a good thing.  All of these books (and there are a pile of them in addition to the four in this series) are facsimiles of the original archived books available on the internet (for free).

The books themselves are paperbound and pretty high quality.  The actual plates could definitely have been cleaned up and reprinted in a much clearer format than they are. They appear to be scans of an extant original text copy. They're readable, mostly. They each include 48 pages of illustrations, printed on both sides of the page.  Volume 1 is allover patterns (see cover). Volume 2 includes a few pages of allover (diaper) designs, but also has several pages of heraldic charts and a few charted bands which would be suitable for a sampler embroidery.  Volume 3 has some larger (page sized) floral designs along with a few heraldic shields. Volume 4 has fruits, florals and more  bands.

The reprinter/compiler (Angela M. Foster) makes an oblique reference to the original sourecebook on the back cover: " These designs were collected from a book titled, "New Model Book of Different Kind Vol. 1".  There is no further discussion of the original author (Paul Fürst) or publishing history (1660 Leiden(?) or Nurnberg) or original published title (Das neue modelbuch, von schonen nadereyen, ladengewürck, und paterleinsarbeit) at all.

These books would be a useful starting point for SCAdians, costumers, counted cross-stitch or other graphed type crafts (filet, crochet, netting, etc).

I am happy that they're available.  I don't begrudge the compiler the opportunity to make a living repackaging original works for a new generation, but I really don't like the omission of any historical context or credits.

Three and a half stars

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