Not your grandma's sampler


Surgical suture sampler, circa 18th cen.
Zurich Medical History Museum
Photo from Ickybitty's photostream

. . . unless your grandma was a trauma surgeon. This antique sampler from the Medical History Museum in Zurich represents a variety of stitch techniques appropriate for different anatomical regions and types of injury. Both the embroidery and the illustrated backing are rendered in remarkable detail:


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That is just stunning. I'm cheering Ickybitty for taking the picture so I could see it and cursing him/her for not taking detail shots of everything.

Oh my God, this is fantastic! It has the feel of a homey sampler, the texture and multimedia of modern collage, and the faint creepiness of an anatomy textbook. Marvelous stuff.

Stephanie - the original photo on flickr is pretty big - you can probably scroll around on it and see most of what you want. The detail is pretty darn incredible - I have no idea why this treasure isn't more widely known. (I happened upon it totally by chance while researching another post.)

I did do some of that, but I'm greedy. I want to see the illustrations better. I do know a FOAF who's headed back to Geneva about now, though. Maybe I can interest her in a short trip with a camera. I'll let you know if that works out.

Great idea, Stephanie! I was just about to suggest that one of us go to Zurich in person to take more photos. . . I mean, it's for Science, right? (and/or Art). Darn it, I wish I could. . .

Yeah, me too. Not this year.

If I have to choose between science and art, I usually pick art. Not that science isn't important. Art just generally has fewer people standing up to say it's important. Something about all the intangibles, I suppose.