Friday, January 28, 2011

Domestic Zoo

Here is a picture of my Domestic Zoo.  The original rug which was designed and hooked by Magdalena Briner around 1890 measured 24" by 70".  Mine measures 22 1/2" x 65 1/2" and trust me when I say it was heavy enough to work on with those measurements.  I don't know how people can hook room size rugs comfortably.  

Magdalena hooked images she was exposed to and which were in the world which surrounded her.  I still find looking at the rug very interesting but sure wish that Magdalena was here so I could ask her exactly what some of those shapes were.  I can only guess.  I can see several leaves, two snakes, cats, dogs, chickens, birds, donkey, horse.  Some appear to be cherries, pear, an apple cut in half, and there are hearts near some of the animals which makes me think they were her prized or favorite or perhaps pets she was memorializing.  It looks like one of the snakes may have been after the bird.  But again, I can only guess and imagine what was going on in Magdalena's mind as she drew the rug out.

And, for all of my Magdalena rugs I have made a label so that years from now if mine is found tucked away somewhere it will be known it is not an antique and people will know it is not the same dimensions as the original.  I feel it is important to give Magdalena credit and that the true size of her original works be known. 

I hope you have enjoyed reading about Magdalena


  1. Wonderful rug, Saundra. Do you know much about Magdalena Briner? I'd love to know more about her.


  2. All I really know is what Evelyn wrote in the RHM article in the Jan/Feb 2004 issue.

    According to the article Magdalena was born in Perry County PA on November 4, 1932. She married Jacob Eby on November 29, 1855 and had a daughter Ellen in 1857. When her husband Jacob died of typhoid fever in 1858 Magdalena moved back to her parents' home in Mt Pleasant Township.

    Later after her daughter married Magdalena moved there to help and lived there until her death March 7, 1915. All this I quoted from the article written by Evelyn Lawrence for RHM.

    Evelyn did a lot of research, spoke to Joel Kopp and other antique dealers and has seen some of Magdalena's rugs in person. Lucky her.

  3. There is a typo above..... Magdalena was born in 1832 NOT 1932. I can't figure out how to go in and edit the date.

  4. You did a beautiful job interpreting this design. Magdalena would have been proud of you! I agree that it would be lovely to have a chat with some of the designers from the 1800's to find out what was on their mind when they created a design. Domestic Zoo is wonderful!

  5. Thank you very much for your comment. With music, poems, art, hooking, etc., there is so much coming from the person and you just want to know the truth behind it. Sure wish I could chat with her.


Thanks for taking the time to visit and I always welcome comments.