Oblong folio (307 x 204 mm). 12 pp., 25 (of 26) engraved plates (without plate 1), all delicately colored in watercolor under the direction of the artist-publisher. Title within type-ornament border. First plate (pl. 2) somewhat soiled and with small ink splashes or spots, some marginal soiling elsewhere, a few frayed or folded edges. Color essays in border of pl. 14, and color splashes on some versos, pencil doodles in margin of pl. 20. Modern blue paper wrappers, new archival flyleaves; cloth folding case.***
Only edition, the first Danish pattern book for embroidery, containing neoclassical and floral designs and ornaments, for colored silk embroidery on clothing and accessories, and wool embroidery for foot rugs.
The author and artist was a painter and drawing instructor from Lübeck, who studied at the Royal Danish Art Academy in Copenhagen from 1790 to 1794, remaining there until 1811, when he founded a drawing school in Halden, Norway, and later helped found what was to become the Norwegian royal art academy in Oslo. In his introduction, Grosch sets forth the basic principles of design and various types of needlework, and discusses at length choices of colors. He is aware of treading a new path in Denmark, and states that because of his lack of predecessors he must decide on colors and elements of designs for himself. As the sub-title states that the hand-coloring is provided in order to indicate the appropriate colors, it is clear that the coloring was supplied under his direction.
The delicate engravings with largely pastel coloring include designs for borders, cartouches, floral motifs, garlands, flowers alone or in baskets or urns; a ruin (e.g., pl. 13), motifs from Antiquity (pl. 19, reproducing at center a scene from a Greek vase), and funerary monuments (pl. 16 & 17). The designs are intended for the decoration of dresses, waistcoats, kerchiefs, fire screens, wallets, etc. The last plate is a color chart.
A second part was published separately, in 1805. Both parts are very scarce. Outside Scandinavia I locate a single copy, at the Lilly Library. The Lilly copy lacks plates 16 and 26, and plate 2 is defective; it also includes 25 plates from what is presumably the second part, including three plates signed by C.D. Fritzsch. The coloring of the plates in the Lilly copy differs in some details, including elements of vases, blossoms, from that of this copy, but is in the same style. With thanks to the Lilly for sharing digitized images of their copy.
Charlotte Paludan & Lone de Hemmer Egeberg, 98 Mønsterbøger ... 98 Pattern Books for Embroidery, Lace, and Knitting (Den Danske Kunstindustrmuseum, 1991), no. 69; Bibliotheca Danica, Supplement 209. Item #3202