Sunday, June 19, 2011


I would like to make a little review on the book "Needlework Styles for Period Furniture" by Hope Hanley. I am sure this book will be a very useful addition to your library if you are interested in reproduction period needlepoint for your dollhouse.

Hope Hanley covers roughly 5 centuries (1500-1900) in her book. She briefly describes Italian, Flemish, Dutch, Spanish and Portuguese styles and she gives a very detailed description of such periods as English, French, and American furniture (chairs, stools, sofas, settees).

There are 10 Chapters:

Chapter One. A Bit of Background, Homily, and Other Odds and Ends

Chapter Two. Squabs, Cushions, and Early Upholstered Chairs

Chapter Three. 1603-1643

The arbitrary dates of 1603 to 1643 cover the beginning of the reign of James I of England to the end of reign of Louis XIII, the time when the kings took a greater interest in building and decorating their royal houses. During this period needlework was used for upholstery in both France and England.

Chapter Four. 1643-1703

Chapter Five. 1703-1727

Chapter Six. 1727-1760

The Regence in France ended in 1723 and Louis XV ruled until 1774. George II ruled England from 1727 to 1760, which consider nicely with the beginning of the neoclassical period in decoration and the age of Chippendale and Adam. If the previous period was characterized as being more relaxed and gay, this period would be said to be exuberant. Many consider the rocaille period to be the most graceful and elegant of all French decorative periods.

Chapter Seven. 1760-1795

Chapter Eight. 1795-1805

Chapter Nine. 1805-1830

The principles of Greco-Roman classical design remained in the Empire style in France, but the new version was much more straightforward and robust than Directoire furniture. Upholstery fabrics were compatible with the new fashion in furniture, the brighter colorsrequiring that the design be less intricate. They were, by no means, simple.

It was in 1803 that the beginnings of a new trend in needlework started. A engraver and landscape painter named A. Philipson published a pattern book in Berlin. The unique thing about the pattern book was that the patterns were printed on checkered paper with a different symbols in the outside outline of each color. The colors were then painted in by hand, square by square. Another Berliner, Frau Wittich, took up the idea and soon led the market in printed patterns. The patterns were called Berlin patterns and were the main feature of a fad called Berlin work that soon swept Europe and America.

Chapter Ten. 1830-1900

The 19th century was the century of revivals, one right after the other and sometimes simultaneously. It was the era of Gothic revival furniture that started in France in the late 1820s and characterized by vertical lines and all the ornamental features of Gothic design, lancets, cusps, and crockets. The rococo revival followed close on the heels of the Gothic and was accepted more widely by the American people.

At the end I want to say that the characteristics of each style are explained and illustrated in 123 photographs (23 in color) and 95 line drawings. You also will find a chapter that describes the stitches.

As for the book "Period Needlepoint for Antique Furniture" by Madeleine Jarry and Maryvonne Dobry, I want to say that this book doesn't cover as much historical information on period needlepoint as "Needlework Styles for Period Furniture" by Hope Hanley, but it contains a lot of line drawings, how-to diagrams and color charts of authentic period designs that can be easily reproduced in 1:12 scale. In a word, I would say that this book, "Period Needlepoint for Antique Furniture" by Madeleine Jarry and Maryvonne Dobry, is more practical. It has 30 color plates, 15 photographs, 25 pattern drawings, 23 how-to diagrams as well.

1 comment:

Josje said...

That looks like a great book. Thanks for the review!


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