Thursday, 3 July 2014

SOLD 3 Norwich Shawl Books * £30 €45 $110 Shipping Included

In 1794 Norwich citizen Philip Knights, Shawlman to Her Majesty, mounted an exhibition in his London showroom at 136 Bond Street to honour Her Majesty's birthday. There at the windows were seen little children embroidering shawls.
In the illustration above there is an interesting figure to the left working at cloth and the wording surrounding the cartouche is often seen on samplers: Train up a child in the way it should go. To the right the matching cartouche has the inscription And when old twill not depart from it. These pictures are linked by their format and continuation of text. So the link between the young embroiderer and older weaver is strongly implied.
These three books were of particular interest to me when I was investigating the link between the Norwich School samplers (those with the embroidered flower swags and others that are pattern-darned) and the Norwich shawl industry. All 3 books are in pristine condition. The first book - The Story of the Norwich Shawl is a full size softback with 80 pages.
Here you can see examples of some of the embroidered work on early shawls - the upper shawl has tied bouquets resembling similar embroidered bouquets on the samplers.
The second 40 page softback book is Pamela Clabburn's well-known and comprehensive history of shawls with a Norwich bias, since Pamela's family owned a shawl mill in Norwich.
The third book is a larger format with 146 pages dedicated to the Norwich shawl.
This is replete with illustrations and history from the greatest expert there was. Pamela's passing was a sad loss to textile scholarship.
It is interesting to follow the change in style and manufacture from embroidered, to drawloom, to Jacquard loom and finally to the printed block as the business became more competitive and cost conscious.

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