Summer Fruit Basket Berlin Chart

1 in stock


This hand-painted Berlin chart is presented mounted on handmade paper and a piece of foam core. (It is unglazed just to keep it safe in transit.) This chart is a genuine Victorina chart for either a tent stitch or cross stitch picture. This was designed to enable the stitcher work in tent stitch or cross stitch and was probably a picture or a cushion.

The chart would be printed with symbols and then the chart was painted colour by colour using a special square brush and a paint like gouache. If you have ever attempted painting or even doing this with coloured crayons you would appreciate the talent of the painters of the time. This is a pure cross stitch chart with no fractional stitches and no backstitch and would have been stitched on canvas.

The chart measures 9 x 7in (23 x 18cm).


1 in stock

1 in stock


The story of this little treasure

These charts are now very collectable and sought after by both dealers and embroiderers. The creation of embroidery charts in Berlin in the early 19th century was big business and thousands of different designs were produced, mostly featuring floral motifs, garlands and bouquets.

The early Berlin charts are the best, created by skilled artists who understood canvas work embroidery. The designs were etched on copper plates and printed on quality paper, often beige or grey blue. The charts were then hand coloured. When the trade was at its height, thousands of girls were employed to do the skilful hand colouring. Originally watercolours or slightly thicker gouache-type paints were used, and the paint was applied using a special brush with a square end, the width of the squares on the wool used for Berlin embroidery came from Saxony Merino sheep, which was soft and ideal for embroidery. Change came after the invention of aniline dyes by Sir William Perkins in England in 1856. These produced much brighter colours than had previously been possible with natural dyes, so England soon overtook Berlin in the production of wools. With the invention of double canvas in about 1860 and the development of the new dyes, Berlin woolwork was in its heyday. As a genre, they are very distinctive with the choice of striking colours and a complete lack of backstitch used in the patterns. They were often used for bead embroidery as well as cross stitch.