1892 Kindergarten Teacher's Album of Pricking and Sewing (Froebel Gifts 11 & 12)
[Froebel Gifts; Kindergarten album]. 1892 Kindergarten Teacher's Album of Pricking and Sewing (Froebel Gifts 11 & 12). New Hampshire: 1892. 24 panels on cloth hinges, concertina-folded into a cloth folio with ties; 9 x 10 x 1.5 inches. Very Good with rubbing to exterior, three panels with recent cloth hinges, a few instances of offsetting from the colored thread. 9 panels of pricking (7.5 x 9 inches) and 15 panels of sewing, including 72 specimens of geometric patterns across 6 panels, faintly numbered in pencil, 9 panels of large designs, and pictorial work, one of which has watercolor toning. 5 small examples of paper weaving affixed to the reverse of the first 2 panels, done with repurposed ruled paper and anomalously poor execution--unlikely the work of the same creator.
The examples in both pricking and sewing Gifts progress from geometric patterns into figurative work, including a stunningly pricked portrait, a cow sewn in perspective, a series of vegetables toned in watercolors, and the iconic Froebel image of the stacked cube, cylinder, and sphere–the second gift portrayed by the eleventh. Perhaps due to its less colorful presentation, pricking is less commonly preserved than paper weaving or sewing. This album provides a particularly keen demonstration of skill and aesthetic command of pricking not just as a bridge between drawing and sewing, but as a beauty form exquisitely tactile and aesthetically equal to the others.
1892 date and signature of Mabel A. Quimby--presumed to be Mabel Alice Quimby (b. Portsmouth, New Hampshire, 1870), daughter of Anna W. Scott and Rev. Dr. Silas E. Quimby, Methodist preacher and educator involved in re-establishing the New Hampshire Conference Seminary (now the Tilton School) after a period of disarray and financial distress in the 1870s. Mabel followed the teaching vocation until she married mechanical engineer Horatio S. Moore in 1894 (she lists “kindergartner” on the marriage certificate but has no employment per later censuses); the family relocated to Pennsylvania shortly thereafter.