The 2023 Witney exhibition catalog is their first hardcover book covering an extremely rare collection of treasures of the schoolroom from 1650-1750. The primary collection is the 1667/1668 casket on the cover worked by Elizabeth Hall at the Shacklewell School outside Hackney and containing a number of small casket toys made by her. The family continued to add items to the box such as a handmade layette set, small whitework pieces and their patterns. The box also came with a set of samplers made later by other family members and friends from this small Quaker meeting. What is stunning is the research done by Rebecca Scott and Isabella Rosner regarding Elizabeth, her friends and family using the extensive collection of family letters. Never has so much been known about a set of embroidery from the period. Copies of some of the important letters are shown in the book. The casket and sampler worked by Hannah Downes, now in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum's was made contemporaneously adding to the information. Samplers worked by girls who went to school and were attendant at Elizabeth's wedding are included in the exhibit giving a fleshed out understanding of these women's worlds at the time.
This tome is a follow on to the 2022 Witney exhibiton catalog which extensively covered samplers of the period (and many are on display with the Hall sets now. But it is the prequel to the 2024 Witney exhibition catalog which will be larger and will cover more caskets with their internal items which also have impressive information on the girls and their schools.
The 126-page book has full page photography, including many views of the casket and very magnified views of the casket smalls in the clear photographs you have come to expect from Witney's catalogs with an essay about each piece.
Scratch and dent - the rough shipping has dented or slightly scratched the outer jacket on a few books. I am offering them at a discount for anyone who doesn't mind.