Costume and Textiles
Man's Berlin Wool Work SlippersMade in United States, North and Central America
Artist/maker unknown, American
Linen plain weave with wool embroidery in cross stitch (Berlin wool work) and glass and metal beads; leather
Currently not on view
1978-110-42a,bGift of Mr. and Mrs. Stanley W. Root, Jr., 1978
LabelIn the privacy of his home, a man might indulge in brilliantly colored and wildly patterned accessories that would have been unsuitable in the public sphere. These slippers are in Berlin wool work, the most popular form of needlework in both America and Europe during the mid-nineteenth century, made by stitching brightly colored wool imported from Germany through canvas. Accented by shiny beads, the work was probably crafted from a published pattern by a loving family member, who then had the slippers professionally made.