Friday, 1 March 2013

Old Linen - Monograms from A to Z - Part 2



Some history of
 Monograms and Needlework:

In their simplest form, early embroidered monograms served as laundry markers, 
allowing linens to be washed without mixing them up. 
However, they are part of a much richer tradition than this simple definition suggests.

Through the 15th century, much of the most ornate and accomplished needlework, 
including lettering and symbols, as well as rich ornamentation, was produced by nuns 
(and in some cases monks) for church vestments made from the finest fabrics 
and often enriched with gold and silver thread and the attachment of precious stones. 

Plain white vestments and altarcloths were also thoroughly embellished 
and monasteries were the repositories of knowledge 
regarding the technical execution of needlework.

In the 16th century, during the Reformation, 
all such vestments and embellishments were removed from every place of worship. 
Under Henry VIII, religious orders were disbanded and those pieces not secreted away by nuns 
who fled abroad were torn apart in order to extract the valuable materials used to make them. 
Other bits were recycled by their new owners as household furnishings.
Aside from the loss of the objects themselves, the designs used to make them also disappeared. 
Nuns were no longer being trained to teach these designs to others 
and the daughters of the upper classes, often previously educated in convents, 
were now being taught needlework at home.....
read more - EmbroideryArts -  here


 

 I like to make it clear, 
that the highlighted English description and text about monograms
is not my own.
I've found all of it some time ago while "googling".....
looking for some proper "linen-description" in English, 
because translating my thoughts
  from German into correct English always takes me 'ages'....
Apart from that - somehow I could not phrase it better! 

Whilst all shown pieces are from my stock and collection
the text comes - with thanks 
from
 Linenmaven's Weblog   here

and
 EmbroideryArts.com   here 




photographed by Laura McGuire
here  and  here

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"......Monograms served several purposes. 
First, the monogram marked the items in one’s “hope chest” as one’s own. 
It also served as an identifier in the laundry.  
Girls practiced their stitchery on their trousseau (see also my previous post - Part 1);
this skill was necessary for all of the weaving, sewing and repairing 
they would go on to do to keep their families in clothing, bedding and toweling. 
In wealthier households, monograms added beauty and prestige… 
especially when items were embellished by a master embroiderer....."
linenmaven's weblog





Monograms in the 19th c.

In the 19th c. members of the bourgeoisie were eager to show off their success and power, and embroidered monograms became a symbol of status. The competing talents of embroideresses and the sophistication of their designs made for some true masterpieces of hand work!
- See more at: http://belovedlinens.net/monograms/white-monograms-1-2.html#sthash.EhY42fhK.dpuf
"...Although I am a monogram collector and I adore any well-embroidered letters, 
I acknowledge the special feeling I get when I stumble across an item 
that has my very own monogram, 
or a combination of mine and my husband’s, or even just his. 
Frontward, backward or even mixed up, 
I do adore any of those letter combinations........."

Monograms in the 19th c.

In the 19th c. members of the bourgeoisie were eager to show off their success and power, and embroidered monograms became a symbol of status. The competing talents of embroideresses and the sophistication of their designs made for some true masterpieces of hand work!
- See more at: http://belovedlinens.net/monograms/white-monograms-1-2.html#sthash.EhY42fhK.dpuf

Monograms in the 19th c.

In the 19th c. members of the bourgeoisie were eager to show off their success and power, and embroidered monograms became a symbol of status. The competing talents of embroideresses and the sophistication of their designs made for some true masterpieces of hand work!
- See more at: http://belovedlinens.net/monograms/white-monograms-1-2.html#sthash.EhY42fhK.dpuf
In the 19th c. members of the bourgeoisie were eager to show off their success and power, and embroidered monograms became a symbol of status. The competing talents of embroideresses and the sophistication of their designs made for some true masterpieces of hand work! - See more at: http://belovedlinens.net/monograms/white-monograms-1-2.html#sthash.EhY42fhK.dpuf


Yes, I agree!

That brings me straight away
to....


...and.. KR...
:-)

German pillow shams

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Pair of vintage hemp sacks

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KL or LK - Set of 12 German damask-linen napkins

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KA - German Rolltuch -  ironing cloth, around 1900


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KL -  German napkins

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 Samplers  -  in German  "Sticktuch"

 Museum Nürnberg, Germany

 
...The widely collected sampler (sometimes called "examplers") 

has provided modern needlecraft practitioners with a wealth of information 
about all sorts of stitch types and their use in ornamentation, including lettering.
EmbroideryArt.com

 Museum Nürnberg, Germany


...A sampler had multiple functions. 
To execute a sampler, a young woman (all known early examples were executed by women) 
needed to study stitch types carefully and understand their use 
in order to produce an example of fine craft. 
The sampler could be retained as a study piece or used by the needleworker as a catalogue 
from which to choose appropriate motifs and styles for later projects...
EmbroideryArts.com

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L


LC - French linen-damask napkin

LC - French linen damask napkin

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French  fil de lin Drap - over sheet

 


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LL - French linen damask napkin

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LC - French 'nappe de vendange' in hemp

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French hemp sheet

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LS - French linen/hemp towels

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M

MM - German kitchen towel

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French linen napkin

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ML -  French linen sheet

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MS - German guest towel


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JM - French silk damask napkin

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MP - French hemp apron

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MR - German linen kitchen towels


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MB - French Drap - over sheet

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MD - French linen damask napkins

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MS - German towel

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 Detail of a French fil de lin Drap - over sheet

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MB - French linen Drap - over sheet

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French linen napkin
 
  N


NA - French serviette de visage - or guest towels in fine silk linen damask


P


PS - French linen napkin

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PD - French hemp towel

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LP - French fil de lin drap - over sheet in fine linen
 


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CP or can be GP - Drap de marriage




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"....The problem with the monogram dilemma is that you can never choose 
which item you would like to have at the time that you would like to have it, 
and usually not with the letters that you would prefer in the order in which you’d prefer them. 
With antiques, it truly is the thrill of the hunt! 

Perhaps you find a sheet with your perfect monogram; 
that sheet may be the wrong size for the bed you had in mind....."
linenmaven's weblog 

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PD - French bath towel from teh Bearn region





R


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French linen sheet


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RM - French linen napkin

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RM - French linen napkin

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RS - German linen/cotton towel


S


SL - French Drap en fil de lin - fine linen over sheet



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SA or AS - German "Rolltuch"


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"...I am also attracted to monograms that may have letters that look like my initials, 
even though they may not actually be them. 
For instance, Gs can look like Cs and so can Es and Ts in certain typefaces. 
Ms and Ws and Vs can sometimes resemble each other, as can Ps and Bs; 
Ks and Rs, Is and Ls.....and so on
....You get the idea!..."
linenmaven's weblog 

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T


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DT - French Drap in fine linen


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 JT - French linen napkin

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 JT - French linen chemise


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V - W - X - Y......


JV - French hemp sheets

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JV - Serviette de vendange in fine linen


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PS - German linen towel

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French linen damask napkin
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VR - French fine linen/cotton chemise

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YK (I believe...but maybe YR?) - German linen towel

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;-)

French linen napkin

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"...Certain letters do appear in monograms more frequently than others and some seem to never show up at all. Just ask my friends with last names that start with a Q, X or Z! This is an economic and regional variance. Certain family names are more common in certain countries and even differ within regions of those countries....." 
Linenmaven's Weblog
  here

(Like in our region, the Périgord in the South-West of France, where a lot of  LM and MB can be found, for example.)


German linen napkins

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Searching for an exact monogram can be a fun - (or even frustrating!) adventure.
But as you can see - 
or as you have noticed during reading this post or looking at the images,
the letter combinations quite varied, so try not to limit yourself to a rigid pattern.
You will fall in love with pieces just because of their beauty.
And it could be eventually a lovely 'heirloom' from aunty "so and so"...... 

I do hope that you've enjoyed my "Linen-ABC-selection"....
and - you've might even spotted your monogram!
If so, also for any further info, please contact me:   here

And if you like to see more beautiful and charming monograms,
 reading more about their history - please visit
Belovedlinens.net
"All about embroidered Monograms"


"monograms for you!" - Linenmaven's Weblog  here
and
EmbroideryArts.com  here




A bientôt.....KJ

6 comments:

  1. C'est toujours un très bon moment lorsque je m'arrête sur votre blog. J'aime votre souci du détail dans vos précisions.
    Merci aussi pour l'ensemble des photos.
    Gros bisous.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Love this post Karin and all the monograms. Those dang monograms on all the lovely sheets made me buy them for years. Now I have so many antique linen sheets that they take up nearly half a bedroom. Beautiful post Karin and I hope you're doing well.

    XXX
    Debra~

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wunderschöne Alltagskultur und - kunst!

    ♥ Franka

    ReplyDelete
  4. Des choses si belles et precieuses auraient tres bien pu etre exposees dans un musee! Merci de nous les avoir presentees.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Everything is very open and very clear explanation of issues.
    was truly information. Your website is
    very useful. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hello!
    I have found a spoon with a monogram that looks very much like a monogram EK on a german napkin you have named as "KL german napkin". Do you have any idea where it comes from and who is the owner of the monogram?
    Kind regards

    ReplyDelete