Sampler Gallery

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                                                                             #8122                                                                                                      Sarah Atkins Sampler              

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12 1/4" x 13" or 15" x 15 3/4 " including a modern frame.  Sarah's lovely sampler is filled with visual appeal and charming motifs.  The two ladies in the center of the piece have feathers in their hair.  The pot of flowers in the top center has an unusual striped satin stitch pattern.  There are four heraldic lions in the corners, birds, dogs, baskets of fruit and lots of florals as well as a charming undulating strawberry border. But the most unusual thing is that the two ladies appear to be holding up the center cartouche with Sarah's verse.  That is quite unusual.                   

 

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                                                                                                Her verse reads:

"Art has taught 
My fingers well
To write without
Pen Ink or Quill"

She signed her sampler,  " Sarah Atkins  Her Work            Aged 8 Years ". Her delightful verse speaks to anyone who loves needlework. 
 

                                                                                    

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The condition of Sarah's beautiful sampler is very good. There is only one hole in the fabric in the bottom right border area.  The fabric has a cut edge along the bottom of the sampler just outside the stitching area. The colors are vibrant and  there is still some sheen to the silk.  There are no losses to the stitching.  It is framed on acid-free board.                                                                                                                                                                                $950

                                                                             #8123                                                                                                      17th Century Band Sampler               

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8" x 33" or 9 1/4" x 34 1/4 " including a modern frame.  Over my years as an antique dealer, I have occaisionally had 17th century band samplers but they are very difficult to find. Amaz- ingly, I have just aquired two 17th century pieces.  I can't believe my good fortune.

The top third of this first piece is filled with stunning whitework as is fairly characteristic of the time period.  It starts with a satin stitch alphabet which is followed with seven further bands of various satin stitch patterns.

The middle and the bottom of the sampler are filled with colorful floral bands worked in a variety of many stitches. These florals are all very characteristic of samplers worked in the 17th. cen- tury.  I believe this one to be circa 1680.

 

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The florals include bands of carnations, honeysuckle, pansys and roses with acorns. Clearly, the stitcher was learning and storing her floral patterns for future use, perhaps on sleeves or vests or some other type of clothing. As they didn't have pattern books in the 17th century, this was their only method of storing their patterns.
 

                                                                                    

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The condition of this beautiful piece of needlework history is actually quite good for its extreme age. The biggest issue to the condition is that there is a fair amount of thread loss. The fabric itself is in good condition with one small stain in the whitework area.  Both edges of the colorful bands are showing thread loss. It almost looks as if the stitches have been picked out rather than worn away. The losses go down both sides of the sampler.  You can still see exactly where the stitches were so its fairly easy to see exactly what the patterns were.   It is framed on acid-free board.                                                                                                                                                                               $1585

                                                                             #8121                                                                                                                  "MD"
                                               17th Century Band Sampler              

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5 1/2" x 34" or 7" x 35 " including a modern frame.  I believe this second 17th century sampler is even older than the one above. This one is circa 1650. The first band of the sampler is reminiscent of the early 17th century spot motif samplers with its randomly placed decorative motifs.

 The second band includes two figures known as 'boxers' due to their stance with a raised arm as if they are taking guard. The figure of a boxer is also thought to be the motif of a lover offer- ing a flower to his lady.  Whichever sentiment the stitcher was thinking of when she stitched this piece, the boxers are simply charming.

 

 

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There is band after band filled with floral motifs of all kinds. One of the bands is worked in whitework. The stitcher used many different stitches including running stitch, double running stitch, algerian eyelet stitch, queen stitch, and detached buttonhole stitch.  The outer edges of the fabric are hemstitched. After the alphabet at the bottom of the sampler we see the initials "MD".

The top half of the sampler is worked in silk while the bottom half is worked in wool. Because of the natural beauty of the silk, the top half of the sampler appears to be much more delicate than the bottom half. It may be that the bottom half of the sampler was worked by a different stitch- er or the different look could be caused by the different types of fibers used. 

                                                                                    

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The condition of this beautiful piece of needlework is quite good considering its extreme age.  There are no holes in the fabric and there are no stains.  There is a fair amount of thread loss in in the more colorful areas.   The bottom of the sampler has approximately two inches of unstitched fabric. It is framed on acid-free board.                                                                                                                                                                                                                $1875

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 #8124
                     Pair of Miniature Motif Samplers                         

8 1/2" x 8 1/2" or 11 3/4" x 11 3/4"including the frames.  One of them is a nice 19th century frame and the other is a nice vintage frame, both with gilt liners.  While not identical, these two elaborate miniature samplers were obviously done by the same stitcher at the same time. They are circa 1820. There are heraldic lions, peacocks, stags, a tiny castle, trees and lots of florals on each of these two pieces.  But the most wonderful thing about these samplers is the verse. It actually starts on the first sampler and finishes on the second sampler.  I have never seen that before!  The samplers are stitched on gauze and filled with many more motifs than we would usually see on miniature pieces.  Working on gauze with exceptionally tiny stitches allows the stitcher to include so much more.                 

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Her verse (on both pieces) reads:

"May health and peace
Attend your Days
And glory shine
On all your Ways"

Due to the fact that gauze can be very fragile there are some issues to the condition on these samplers.  While the stitching is almost completely undisturbed, there are some holes in the gauze. The first piece has a large hole in the bottom right corner and the second piece has one under the heraldic lion.  There are other smaller holes, but if you click on the enlarged pictures you should be able get a good idea of the condition of these two charming samplers.  They have both been mounted on acid-free board.

                                                                                                           $ 1265 for the pair

                                                                             #8125                                                                                                        Elizabeth Humphrey Sampler               

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12" x 14 1/4" or 17 3/4" x 19 1/2 " including a modern frame with an old gilt liner.  Elizabeth's beautiful darning sampler is actually fairly rare.  Most of the darning samplers that we see today are Dutch. This lovely piece is English.  The Dutch style of darning sampler is much more utilitarian, much more plain.  Young Dutch girls were taught the art of darning with the idea of teaching them how to repair different types of fabric. While in England the girls were taught how to repair fabrics, but with an artistic flair.  English pieces usually worked the darns into a design of lovely florals.  So the young girl was learning practical needlework as well as delicate embroidery at the same time.  And the finished sampler was just as beautiful as any other needlework she may have acomplished.

 

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The florals in Elizabeth's sampler show expert workman- ship and beautiful detail. The center floral is so graceful and airy that it almost seems to be blowing in the breeze. She surrounds that with her darning patterns and then her stun- ning outer floral border.  By using many different stitches and colors of silk she has created both dimension and shading. The stitching appears to be very tiny and quite well done. These lovely English darning samplers are a lot more difficult to find today than the Dutch ones. Every collection should have at least one of these very special English darning samplers. 
 

                                                                                    

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The condition of Elizabeth's splendid sampler is good. There are a few small holes in three of the four corners of the fab- ric, but they are all outside the stitching area.  The outer edge of the fabric shows the nail holes from its original framing but that is covered up by the current framing. The colors are beautiful and there is still a nice sheen to the silks.  It is framed on acid-free board.                                                                                                                       SOLD

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