Monday, May 3, 2010

Antique Pattern Books

In the early twentieth century Italian needlework scholar Elisa Ricci edited the reprints of five 16th century pattern books for embroidery and lace.

Last year these reprints were collected together and reprinted again in one volume called Disegni per Merletti e Ricami [Designs for Lace and Embroidery] edited by Bianca Rosa Bellomo. Pattern books included in this volume are: I singolari e nuovi disegni per lavori di biancheria by Federico Vinciolo, La vera perfectione del disegno per punti e ricami by Giovanni Ostaus, Il Burato: libri de Ricami by Alessandro Paganino, and two by Giovanandrea Vavassore: Opera nuova universale intitolata Corona di Ricami and Esemplario di lavori: che insegna alle donne il modo e l'ordine di lavorare.

For the presentation of Disegni per Merletti e Ricami, Bianca Rosa asked several needlework friends to stitch patterns from the volume in whatever technique they liked. The pieces were then part of a display at the Italia Invita Forum in Parma in May of 2009. The stitched pieces were displayed beside a printout of the pattern chosen from the antique pattern books. It was a delightful display to look at!! (Click on the little photos on the linked page to look closer)

Later in May the works were displayed again in Bologna. It was very difficult to pick which ones to show you so this is a random pick of one design from each author:




Vavassore I:

Vavassore II:

I saw both displays and can tell you that it was fascinating to look at the different interpretations of each pattern. I noticed things in Bologna that I hadn't paid attention to in Parma – I could have looked forever!

You can read more about Elisa Ricci at the Italian Embroidery website Tuttoricamo, click on the British flag for the English pages and look under 'prominent characters'.

Disegni per Merletti e Ricami can be purchased here. (Send an email request.)

Thanks to Elisabetta for the Paganino photo.

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