Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Goat, Deer or Lamb

The auction site listed the rug as "a portrait of a lamb..." and no mention of Magdalena Briner Eby as the hooker.  So the local auction house was not familiar with history of hooked rugs.  As soon as I saw it knew immediately it was a Magdalena rug, sent a photo to my friend Evelyn.  Obviously at least two other people recognized it as a Magdalena also.  If you click that link and scroll to the bottom you can see the bidding war between someone on the Internet and perhaps someone at the location of the rug.  

Okay, so is it a lamb as the auction indicated, a deer as a follower indicates or a Goat?  

So what is a lamb?  A lamb is a young sheep and would not be born with horns.  A young sheep is considered a "lamb" until the age of 1 year then considered adult.  Lamb's tails naturally hang downward.  So the listing auctioneer was wrong in calling it a lamb.

Below is a photo of a mother adult sheep who needs shearing and her baby lamb.
Notice the tails are longer and are in a natural relaxed downward position.  
The sheep (adult lamb) above is adult with horns.
A whitetail deer buck running through a field.
Above is a white tail deer with it's antlers, not horns, and a slimmer muzzle.  White tail deer inhabit that part of Pennsylvania where Magdalena grew up.  In a natural position the tail hangs downward, unless they sense danger then lead deer will put its tail upward with the white showing to alert the group and to flee.

Okay, so neither of the above looks like the primitive shape Magdalena hooked, so what about the goat?    
Ah, the goat has hair, not wool and the tail naturally curls upward. Look at the curvature of the horns, the stockiness of the legs vs. the slimmer legs of the deer and sheep.  Sure looks like a goat rug to me.

Below is a Magdalena hooked rug named "Farm" which appears in the booklet.  Notice the similarity in the shape of the horns, the 'bouncy' goat behavior of the legs.  Yup, a goat.  Plus Magdalena lived on a farm and tended to the farm animals.  Thus she was familiar with the shapes of the animals she tended.
In the Magdalena booklet it was mentioned that the photo found was not known to be the front or the back of the rug.  The original rug above was purchased by an antique dealer from the family and as of the writing of the book was the only goat rug found to have been hooked by Magdalena at that time. However, the dealer Thomas Thomas said he had seen other rugs with goats on them.  So now there are two and I'm elated to be a part of the finding.  

Below is my hooked version of Magdalena's "Farm".  
Notice the goat shape in this rug is the same shape as the Goat I am hooking.   Also note that Magdalena got artsy, for lack of a better word, on the horns.  Actually, I find that more note worthy than whether it is a lamb, deer or goat.  Why did she choose to show the detail of the ridges on the horns?  

Have a great evening folks and eventually this evening I'll be able to pull a few loops on my Magdalena.  

OMG, I just looked at my 'stats' on my blog posts.  Since posting this story about this Magdalena rug I've received the most visits EVER.  In the last three posts I've had over 1,000 visits.

Have a great evening everyone.



  1. I think goat also. love the rugs.

  2. Whatever it is, it's wonderful.
    Congrats on all the blog hits.
    Hugs :)

  3. The farm rug, definitely looks like a goat, but I am still stuck on the shape, size and higher antler shape on the other, deer would be a familiar site around a farm too.


  4. I agree with you on goat. Either way it is going to be a great rug.

  5. I vote for goat. Lol a hooking rhyme

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