These pattern plates are from a series of 19th century German cards, or small pattern plates; all the motifs are in the classic "Berlin Work" style of floral wreaths and sprays, geometric borders and overall repeating patterns, quaint village buildings and other motifs. I found the first few cards many years ago in a box of miscellaneous sewing goods- long before I even knew exactly what they were- and eventually more from an Austrian manuscript dealer. They are presented slightly enlarged for easier reading but otherwise unaltered, with the marks of age and prior use still in evidence.
Small patterns like these offer endless possibilities for today's needleworkers, from arranging motifs and borders into designs to selecting your own color combinations. Using brilliantly colored seed beads on canvas or linen, either as accents or to entirely replace the thread colors, is another time-honored tradition for these patterns and one that manages to look both antique and modern at the same time.