This replica sampler was diligently stitched by Rudolf Lippek so that not only the front of the sampler was replicated, but the reverse also.
Gisela Creutzberg writes: Over 10 years Rudolf visited sampler collections and, with permission, made copies of over 50. He had no textile background. He was an engineer and his work was to document the location of water and gas pipelines in his town. He had to be very exact. In his leisure time he liked photography. It was through his wife's learning to make bobbin lace that he became involved with textiles. He also learned to make bobbin lace and soon was better than her because of his technical knowledge and approach. Through bobbin lace he came to costumes with embroidery and so, eventually, to samplers. As he was an exact man it was not enough for him only to embroider a beautiful sampler. He visited Museums and private collections to learn as much as possible about the samplers, the embroiderers and their time. In the years from 1987 to 1997 he embroidered about 58 different samplers. Most he was allowed to photograph and afterwards he counted a pattern and embroidered the sampler. Nearly all reverses are stitched in what in Germany is called 'Ebenseer Art'. Ebensee is a small village near Bad Ischl in Austria. In 1887 Marie Spanitz founded a 'private Erwerbsschule' in Bad Ischl - somewhat similar to a boarding school. The girls in this school (aged 10 years and older) could or must embroider to earn money. Only very good embroideries were saleable and they needed to have these perfected reverse sides. This is how this technique came to be known as Ebenseer Art. Another advantage of this technique is that is uses least thread. Rudolf was still stitching in hospital in 1997 when he died.
Thank you for this post, Gisela, how we would all have loved to have met your friend!