Those Beguiling Grain Sack Graphics

I have a fresh batch of grain sacks.  This load includes a number of sacks from

one farm that are examples of how interesting and, sometimes, confounding

are the graphics on these old textiles.

The first grain sack, above, with  inventory No 2, was owned and used by

Martin Holzinger who lived in Oberdachstetten (Germany).  The boot

could have something to do with the kind of work that was done at this

farm or business ( boot making, something to do with horses or feed for

horses) or, less likely,  just be a stock image that the owner liked.

The date, 1900, would have been either the date of inception of the farm

or business or the date that new sacks were made to replace older,

unrepairable ones.

This sack, above, made in 1905, adds some new and very useful pieces

of information :  Martin Holzinger is a master shoemaker

(Schuhmachermeister)!  Also, he lives or works at No 306.  This time,

his boot is a different style and contains a stretcher.

Now look!  In 1934, Georg Holzinger, possibly Martin’s son, who lives or

works at No 18, is making shoes, as well.  Why did Georg leave the master

shoemaker’s designation off of his sacks? And don’t his boots need stretchers?

I guess that as some questions are answered, others appear.


  1. Dear Stefanie,
    I am writing to you from Cologne/Germany. When searching for an address of my relatives (Family Holzinger) in Oberdachstetten I found your homepage by coincident.
    This is amazing. Georg Holzinger from Oberdachstetten is the grandfather of my mother – I called her immediately to tell her about your homepage and the grain sacks that you are showing there. Martin Holzinger is George’s great-grandfather
    My mother also told me that her grandfather’s profession was signalman for the Bavarian railway.
    What a great piece of family history – really happy to find this litte piece …
    Greetings from Family Sandra Winterhoff

  2. Stephanie, These are exceptional, what a score! I have never seen a boot on a grain sack before. Spectacular, just spectacular. Thanks for the pix and the information.
    bliss farm antiques

  3. Isn’t it wonderful when we can add provenance to our tangible history? By the way, after grocery shopping today, I went to the magazine aisle as I always do to check out the designer magazines and get ideas, when lo and behold, what did my wandering eyes spy? An article in Romantic Homes (Sept. issue) featuring B. Gover Limited and an astonishing array of those wonderful grain sacks. And I know where she got them 🙂 🙂 I will leave the magazine at Bournebrook’s the next time I am in so that you can see it. I rub elbows with the best company.

  4. Your collection is unbelievable. I have never known any other collector or dealer who has the
    amazing authentic variety that you have. I also so admire that you have the knowledge of grain
    sacks that is often missing with many dealers. You are the real deal. I think for many of us who
    collect antiques and older things part of what attracts us to something is the history of it.
    You have the knowledge and know the authentic from the copies which sometimes people believe
    are the real thing but are not. If someone wants real authentic grain sacks they should find you and learn from your great knowledge. Wonderful pictures and wonderful history lesson. Thank you.