Album dåOuvrage with Sample Cards

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A cabinet-maker quality wooden chest with inlay striping,lock and key,hinges open to reveal shelved interior. Arranged on the shelves are forty-one 9" x 11" cardboard display cards with twill or marbled glazed finish in various colors,each bordered in gilt paper. Each card contains a sample of needlework in miniature form representing various needle arts from sewing to embroidery to fabric repair to making of button holes,or creation of small needlecases or boxes or decoupage-decorated straw ornaments; and each card has small label at the top with decoupage decoration and French description in fine calligraphy handwriting of the work being shown. A sampling of the various 41 cards are shown here; each of the 41 is different and represents various needle skills. One card is dated 1884,and several have the initials "E.D." Known as Albums dåOuvrage,the cabinets of handwork were created at young girlås convent homes during the 19th century; the ability to create minute examples of the needle art being considered a vital aspect of their genteel upbringing. It is unclear whether this album represents the work of one young girl (E.D.?) or is the sample work of the 1884 student body at the French convent. The presentation case and each of its 41 cards are preserved in immaculate condition.
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