As each month, SwinginCat is hosting “Getrödelt, gefunden, gefreut” at her blog “Beswingtes Allerlei”. Thank you so much for this series!
I haven’t been to one single flea market in november. First because I was pretty busy, second because it is cold (ok, that doesn’t keep me from going normally) and third because I was stunned discovering what loads of stuff I have while moving. Buying antique patterns on sundays and working the rest of the week is fine, but this doesn’t give you any chance to work with the things you purchased. So I decided to reduce my fleamarket-sundays and increase my sewing-sundays, let’s see how long I will be able to stick to it.
I’m not sure if I mentioned it, in november I spent a whole week in Gotha, a city in Thüringen/Germany. We visited Schloss Friedenstein, a rather unimpressive baroque castle from the outside, but with an amazing interiour and a lovely textile collection in storage, which we (some fellow art historians and students along with our professor) were able to see and examine.
And there I found, what is to become this month’s find:
maybe the trained eye is already able to discern some characteristic features?
On one of the evenings I went to an antique book shop, as I always do when finding the time to do so. Having dicovered the shelf with handcrafting and decorative arts I was first a little disappointed, because nothing was really interesting. But directly next to the shelf I found a whole stack of pattern magazines, some in great, other in deplorable condition.
The seller refused to say what he asked for one magazine, but forced me to give him a prize for the whole lot. I, knowing what those magazines can cost today and knowing that I wasn’t willing to spend this amount of money that one evening, declined to make an offer. So he did, unfortunately one that I wasn’t able to resist.
The lot consists of 19 Beyer pattern magazines, dating mostly from 1938 to 1942, there is each from 1937 and 1944. Instructions and patterns are almost completely included (only one magazine misses one of the pattern sheets).
Included in the stack were some other things as well: A 1939 zipper promotion (all those little arrows point to where they used the zippers on the garments)…
…some fragments of other handcrafting magazines (and a cover of another Beyer issue), two pattern sheets of now lost Vobach-magazines and lots of so-called “Abplättmuster”. These are patterns, mostly for embroidery, printed in a special blue ink, that can be ironed onto fabric. So you don’t need to transfer the pattern by drawing, but simply by ironing. Some of those patterns are Vobach ones as well, but the majority belongs to the Beyer-magazines. Because those patterns had to be ordered mostly seperately, they are not dated, but only marked with a number. I am pretty sure that those numbers will match many of the ones given in the magazines.
On the one hand I think we are all aware of the fact, that those magazines are a product of their time. On the other hand they had a life afterwards and they still have. This becomes very obvious when looking at the patterns that have been used. They where traced onto old newspapers, sometimes years after publishing (as today, I still use my 1990ies patterns). In the 1937 issue I found a 3rd Reich newspaper from 1939 right next to a socialist one from 1950. We don’t know if the owner changed between those two dates or if it was the same person, but it is quite interesting that the older pattern wasn’t thrown away as well as those are both mute witnesses of two very different totalitarian regimes, used in a completely unpolitical way after they had fulfilled their original purpose.
And something a little more funny to end: I don’t know if you, but I happen to stumble across patterns that I own printed in a Burda-magazine and that are also available as a single pattern, published afterwards. While looking at all those patterns in the Beyer-magazines, every now and then I had the feeling, that I had already seen that particular pattern elsewhere. First I thought “well, it is similar to another one” or “maybe you saw it earlier when flipping through the pages”. But then I found one pattern of that I was very sure that I had already seen it, even made it.
Does somebody remember that dress I wrote about in august 2012?
I made it using a 1940ies pattern-booklet I had bought in Dresden in 2011.
Yes, and it seems as if Beyer didn’t do different than Burda does today, that is republishing patterns:
I wish you all a very beautiful 1st advent sunday!