Thursday, September 25, 2014

That's What Friends Are For

I was in Seattle, enjoying a weekend of lectures and classes at Makers' Mercantile, when a long-time reader came forward with a magnificent gift.

She remembered that I am (in a very small way) a print collector, and gave me this.

Spinnerin (detail)

It's called Die Spinnerin, engraved in the nineteenth century after a painting by the 17th-century Dutch artist Caspar Netscher. It made my dark little heart go thumpitta-thumpitta-thumpitta-boom.

The folio sheet (21 by 28) hasn't been cut. The tones and textures, which defy capture by my cut-rate phone camera, are pure velvet.

Then there's the subject matter, of course, with all the lovingly rendered details: the niddy-noddy, the hank of flax,

Spinnerin (detail)

the little hand-cranked* (!) wheel. (Single drive? Curious. I would love to hear from anyone who might know whether this is accurate, or whether the artist goofed. All the rest is captured in such fine detail that it seems odd he would leave out an entire loop of the drive band, if it were actually there.)

Spinnerin (detail)

This isn't the sort of thing you fold up and stuff in a suitcase, so I asked my good buddy Chuck at Skacel if he could please hand it over to their shipping department and have it sent home to me.

I got a message from Chuck a few days later saying that (as you might imagine would happen at a yarn company) the print had caused quite a stir and everybody had wanted to run away with it.

In due course, a sturdy tube arrived from Skacel. Inside was the sweet spinning lady, looking as beautiful as ever.


Thanks, Chuck! You're the best!

*Edited to add: Mind you, there is a footman, which suggests there is also a treadle hidden under the skirts. So, hand-cranked and foot-powered? The more I look at this the more fascinated I get.