Cunning’s Perforated Stamping Patterns Catalog

A couple of months ago I purchased on ebay a catalog of perforated patterns from the M. J. Cunning Co. of Cincinnati, Ohio. Included in the sale were 2 groups of actual perforated patterns — the holes are so tiny that I imagine the pouncing powder must have been very fine. Although there is no date on the catalog, I found an ad in a 1906 Home Needlework Magazine which states the company was established in 1880. Since the price on the advertisement (15¢) is the same as my catalog, I assume the catalog was published in the late 1800s to early 1900s. I looks a lot like the J. F. Ingalls pattern catalog.

The catalog is large at 10″ x 15″ and, although the 76 pages have become very dark with age, it is in amazingly good condition. The printing is not perfect and the designs are packed onto the pages — but this is a catalog, of course, and not meant to be a source for copying patterns.

It is a slow process to lighten the pages without losing detail on the patterns, but I am gradually working my way through the book. It’s something I like to do in bed late at night which my husband thinks is crazy. It can be tedious, but it’s also very satisfying. I hope my embroiderer readers will enjoy them — I think they are a treasure.

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