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Mary Card

Mary Card's Crochet book No. 4

Object type
Pattern books

Object number

Book of crochet patterns. The front cover reads: "MARY CARD'S/ CROCHET BOOK No4", at the top center. Ornate orange borders the front cover, with a picture of a pillow sham doyley in the center. Paper tape has been used on the spine to hold the booklet together, the paper material of the booklet is damaged especially at the bottom edge. The booklet contains crochet designs and patterns in black and white. The back cover is wrapped in brown paper and has rips in places.

Collection name
Deirdre Appelbee collection

Collection statement of significance
The Mrs Deirdre Appelbee collection consists of two crochet pattern books, published in 1921 and 1936 respectively. They are rare surviving examples of the work of the extremely successful Australian crochet designer Mary Card (1861-1940). The first pattern, Mary Card's Crochet book No. 4, is a 1921 reissue of a 1917 book, published by Fitchett Brothers. The second book, Mary Card's new book of filet crochet designs, was published on 2 March 1936 by Australian Home Beautiful. Until 2003, these books belonged to the donor's friend, Nancy Griffiths. Before her, they were the property of Nancy's late mother, Gladys Newson (1890-1964) or possibly one of her sisters. Gladys lived in Fremantle and commuted by rail to her work in Perth as a shorthand typist. Crocheting helped her pass the time on the train.

Victorian-born Mary Card is best remembered for her crochet designs, widely published between the 1910s and 1930s. She spent her early life as a writer and teacher until growing deafness forced a change of career. Turning to designing crochet, she submitted her patterns first to America's Ladies Home Journal and later to Australian women's journals. Through these and other publications, she reached a global audience. The physical shapes of and motifs featured in her patterns varied considerably: from ambitious peacock bedspreads to simpler fruit-themed doyleys and from the Statue of Liberty to gum leaf patterns. These books illustrate Mary Card's career and the role crochet played in Australian women's lives.

Mary Card

Fitchett Brothers Pty Ltd

Place of publication
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Date of publication

Paper, Ink

Width: 255mm
Height: 375mm
Depth: 10mm

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