Oblong folio (200 x 327 mm). 36 etched plates, comprising 18 plates each in two states, colored and uncolored (all the colored plates bound first, followed by the uncolored plates), all numbered in the plate at upper right, “Tab. I [-XVIII] 3ter Bd.,” nearly all signed by Netto, some with place (Netto del. & fec., Netto fec. Lieps, etc.), including 9 large folding plates (nos. 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16 and 17) in various sizes up to 480 x 378 mm. (pl. 11). No title, apparently the plate volume from an unidentified edition. Some fraying and occasional soiling to fore-edges, 8 folding plates (6 colored and 2 uncolored) with minor short repaired tears at guards, a few inner edges wrinkled, else in fresh condition, Contemporary red-patterned pastepaper (Kleisterpapier) over pasteboards (edges and spine quite worn, upper joint broken). Provenance: effaced library inkstamp on front flyleaf.***
An attractive suite of neo-classical patterns, mainly for embroidery, by the drawing-master and influential pattern book compiler J. F. Netto.
A drawing-master from Leipzig, Netto was an imaginative and successful author of several needlework manuals, most published by Voss in Leipzig, including an important series of three embroidery manuals, also in large oblong folio format. He edited a periodical devoted to the arts of the needle (Taschenbuch der Strick-, Näh- und anderer weiblichen Arbeiten, 1801-4), and a few other manuals of the domestic arts for women, all now quite scarce. Jessen (p. 359) called the ensemble of Netto’s sample books and manuals the “most distinguished” (”am stattlichsten”) of the spate of women’s needlework manuals that appeared in the late eighteenth century in response to the new vogue for female handiwork.
Most of these etchings bear number- or letter-keys, indicating that they were accompanied by explanatory text, but I have been unable to identify the edition to which this plate volume - no. 3 in a series - belongs. The number of plates, subjects, and platemark sizes match none of the Netto works listed in the Berlin Katalog, OCLC, or KVK, several of which are digitized. There is a slight possibility that the set may correspond to the plates from a manual referred to by Netto in part 1 of his 1795 Zeichen- Mahler- und Stickerbuch, which he said was published in 1783, but of which no copies are recorded.
The plates show floral details, swags and ribbons, delicate bouquets including sprays of wheat and feathers, classical urns, and border and corner patterns. The first suite is hand-colored in wash, watercolor and, occasionally, gold paint, indicating the suggested use of both polychrome silk thread and metallic thread. Plate 2 shows six small arabesque floral designs, colored in gold paint only. Folding plate 15 depicts at left a large, decorated urn, painted in colors and gold, and at right an outline sketch of its parts. Comparison of the uncolored plates to their colored counterparts show that the coloring must have been carried out under the supervision of the artist, for some elements of the cloth base coloring are not indicated in the uncolored etchings (e.g., pl. 10 and 11). The last two plates are patterns for whitework, these are colored only in monochrome wash (respectively green and blue) in the colored suite. Item #3204