This is an ongoing project to digitize rare materials from the library’s special collections. Works in this collection include:
John Long’s Coverled Book is a handwritten manuscript containing diagrams and instructions for the weaving of geometric patterns into coverleds, or coverlets. The instructions are for double weaving on a loom, which is also called a summer and winter pattern. The book’s original cover has been pasted onto new boards. Two hands can be identified in the text: that of the original author, John Long, and of the subsequent owner, John Bechtel. The manuscript’s title page indicates that John Long wrote it in Haycock Township, Bucks County, [Pennsylvania] in 1815. Three years later it passed into the possession of John Bechtel, who added more patterns as well as inscriptions in German. Like Long, Bechtel lived in Bucks County, outside of Philadelphia.
In addition to weaving patterns, the manuscript contains two copies of a short patriotic passage on the Battle of Baltimore. The first version was written in John Long’s hand. Bechtel recopied the verse on the same page at a later date. The manuscript is heavily illustrated with 94 ink-drawn diagrams of weaving patterns. Diagrams for the creation of smaller, repeated patterns appear on pages 3-23. Some of the repeating patterns include New Snow Ball, Old Snow Ball, Bird's Eye, All Roses, Trueloves Not [sic], and Cat with Rings. There are also patterns for making large and small trees,
as well as patterns by other weavers, such as Frey, Blim, and Isac Funck, labeled in Bechtel’s hand. The book also includes diagrams for over 50 patterns that are not named or numbered.
La vera perfettione del disegno di varie sorti di ricami, & di cucire ogni sorte di punti à fogliami, punti tagliati, punti à fili, & rimessi, punti incrociati, pũti à stuora, & ogn'altra arrte, che dia opera à disegni. Fatto nuouamente per Giouanni Ostaus. Vittoria.
Published in 1567, "La vera perfettione del disegno di varie sorti di ricami..." is a pattern book that provided designs for the elaborate lacework and embroidery of the period. These pattern books were designed to be portable and easily handled, and many still bear the pinpricks of the pouncing technique used to transfer the illustrated design onto a piece of cloth. "La vera perfettione..." includes designs for lacework, embroidered alphabets, borders, and a variety of other natural and geometric motifs, as well as designs for entire scenes taken from mythology.
This is a rare example of a printed book containing the suites of illustrations created by the Martinet enterprise at the end of the 1760s. A team of artists created six illustrations for a projected series of luxury editions of opéras-comiques, including this scene from Rose et Colas, a highly successful mixture of pastoral, farce, and sentiment.