Sampler Gallery
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                                                                         #6927                                                                                                        " S.H."  Sampler              

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17 1/2 " x 18".    20 " x 20 1/2 " including a modern frame.   Our sampler maker did not give us her name, but she did include the initials " S.H." and "age 12" as well as the date 1839.   She also gave us her parents initials - " J.H. and B.A. H".  So we don't know exactly who she was or where she was from, but we do know that she stitched a very charming sampler filled with the wonderful motifs that would have appealed to a twelve year old girl.  Her sampler has a naive kind of charm that I find very appealing.              
 

 

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The focal point of the sampler is a  lady carrying a basket and wearing a bonnet.    Her face, bonnet, bodice and basket are all stitched over one thread, which gives the lady a lovely texture.  The stitches used include cross stitch over one thread and over two threads, eyelet stitch and sawtooth satin stitch.  There are florals, birds, trees, hearts and two fairly detailed houses in the bottom corners of the sampler.   There is also an interesting three sided border with strawberries at the top and florals down the sides.                                                                                                   

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The condition of this sweet sampler is quite good.   There is a bit of thread loss in the sawtooth satin stitched band and a couple of minor stains.  The only noticable stain is in the bottom left border area. But there are no holes in the fabric and the colors are quite good.     The sampler has been mounted on acid-free board.                                                                                                                                                                                                              $1285
                                       New Price        $895

                                                                         #6921                                                                                                      Hannah Johnson Sampler               

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16 " x 21".    19 " x 24 " including a period maple frame.   Hannah stitched a stunning gazebo with delicate vines and flowers growing up the sides, surrounded by two fabulous trees.  What a gorgeous garden scene!  This young girl had a wonder- ful artistic flair with her needle.  There are four different alpha- bets worked in eyelet stitch, cross stitch and satin stitch divided by a decorative band of queen stitch.  She added an outer border of strawberries on three sides surrounding an inner border of satin stitch and eyelet stitch.  Simply put, this sampler has everything you could want in a sampler.  I believe it to American in origin, but because Hannah Johnson is a fairly common name, I have not been able to verify where she was born.           
  

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                                                                                          Her verse reads:

" Thou Canst Accomplish All Things
Lord Of Might.
And Every Thought Is Naked
To Thy Sight".

She signed her sampler,  "Hannah Johnson   October 12, 1774".                                                                                                  

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The first alphabet and the signature band have faded in color a bit so that is somewhat difficult to read.   And following her name something appears to have been picked out (probably her age).  There is also some overall darkening to the fabric, although the linen was probably fairly dark in color when it was new.   But there are no holes in the fabric and no losses to the silks, so the sampler is in very good condition.  It has been mounted on acid-free board.                                                                                                     $3875
                                   New Price         $2275

                                                                         #6913                                                                                                      Mary Robinson Sampler
                                                   Probably American    

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16 1/4 " x 18".    18 " x 20 " including a modern frame.   The large floral in the bottom center of this sampler is absolutely stunning!  The workmanship on it is exquisite!  It is so realistic that you expect to smell the floral scent.   Mary added a verse, and two charming (and unusual) black faced owls and surround- ed her gorgeous sampler with an elegant honeysuckle vine bor- der.   The antique dealer that we purchased Mary's beautiful sampler from said that Mary was born in New Haven, CT, but our research didn't find that to be the case.  With a name as common as Mary Robinson, it is quite difficult to know which girl is our girl.  We believe she was either born in New York, Vermont, Tennessee or Ohio.       
 

 

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Her verse reads:

" Let me improve the Hours I have
Before the Day of Grace is fled
There's no repentance in the Grave
Nor Pardons offered to the Dead".

She signed her lovely sampler, "Mary Robinson Aged 12".                                                                                                   

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There is a bit of thread loss in the signature area making her name a bit difficult to read.  But there are no holes in the fabric and the silks are amazingly vibrant.  Mary's sampler has been conservation mounted on another piece of linen and framed with TruGuard UV Protectant glass.                                                                                                                                                                                $2750
                                     New Price      $2175

                                                                         #6826                                                                                                    English Motif Sampler
                                            

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13 1/2 " x 14 1/4".    17 1/2" x 18 " including a 19th century maple frame.   While it is not signed or dated, this beautiful motif sampler is circa 1840.   Motif samplers are very different from most other types of samplers in that they are generally much more decorative.   There are no alphabets and no verses.   What you see are lots of truly lovely decorative motifs.    And that is what appeals to me about this beautiful sampler.   And, equally appealing is the lovely sheen from the silks.  These motifs almost jump out at you because the fibers actually shine.
 

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There are birds, trees, baskets of fruit, and lots of gorgeous florals.   The three florals in the center of the sampler are expecially wonderful.  The top center bird appears to be a peacock as he is quite colorful and is sporting a bit of a topknot on his head.   The undulating floral border is also quite lovely.  It's a bit unusual to see so many different flowers in a border.   This one features roses, tulips, honeysuckle and the occaisional strawberry just to name a few.                                                                                                                      

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The sampler is showing some darkening in the center of the piece most likely caused by the sampler being mounted on a wood stretcher at some time.   There is also one large hole in the fabric located in the upper right corner of the sampler and there is a bit of wear to the left fabric edge outside of the stitched area.   But the silks are lovely and quite vibrant and there is no bleeding.  The sampler has been mounted on acid-free board.                                                                                                                                     $1285
                                       New Price        $935

                                                                         #6641                                                                                                  Elizabeth Larkens Sampler
                                                  

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13" x 16".   18 1/2" x 22 " including the original frame.   Elizabeth's sampler is simply wonderful!   The two black faced men at the bottom appear to be dressed in jester-like costumes.  I suspect that these are meant to be characters from some type of English music hall performance.   English samplers are often filled with the wonders of what was going on in the world around the young girls who stitched them. In any case they are amazingly rare and very, very special.   And the figures are not the only special thing about this sampler. It is filled with lovely florals, trees, birds, dogs, and many other beautiful motifs.  There are alphabets, and a verse all surrounded with an elegant honeysuckle vine border.   Elizabeth's sampler is quite beautiful.

n.b. Thanks to London antique dealer Erna Hiscock,  I can now explain the significance of the two black face figures.  Erna writes, "Your sampler represents Harlequin, the partner of Columbine.  He is often portrayed with a black mask.  Harlequin was supposedly born in Bergamo and was a servant of one of the main char- acters named Pantaloon.  He was the lover or husband to Columbine, a maid in the same household. He spent most of his time in romantic dalliance, plotting mischief, hence the mask.  The story is based on a 16th century Italian comedy.  By the 18th century it had degenerated into light musical entertain- ment and was being performed in London.  These figures first appeared on samplers in the 1770s".  Thank you, Erna & John.  If you know the right person to ask, finding the answer is easy!

  

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                                                                                                                                                The verse reads:
" During the time of life allotted me
Grant me good God my wealth and liberty
I ask no more if thou art Please to give
I will with thanks the over plus Received".

She signed her sampler,  " wrought by Elizabeth Larkens in the 16 year of her age   1821".                                                                                                                                                             

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There is some damage to the fabric in the bottom left corner, as well as small holes in the upper left and bottom right corners.   And there are four very small holes in the alphabet area.  But, the sampler has been stitched to another piece of linen, so it is well stablized.  There are no thread losses and the silks are still vibrant and they retain their sheen, so it is still in good condition.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               $3900
                                                                                                     New Price         $2650

                                                                         #6644                                                                                                      Margaret Hodgson Sampler
                                                  

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15 1/2" x 16 1/4".   17 1/4" x 17 3/4 " including a modern  frame.   Margaret's sampler is a very visually appealing piece of needlework.  Everything is balanced, well designed and beauti- fully executed.  She starts her sampler with an alphabet followed by a series of family initials.  She then follows with a series of vignettes featuring trees, crowns, cherubs, eight-pointed stars, florals, birds, and two very unusual large baskets.  And each vignette is seperated with lovely dividing bands of different decorative stitches.   The garden scene at the bottom is particu- larly lovely.  Finally, she surrounds her beautiful sampler with a very pretty strawberry border.   In spite of the fact that there are crowns on this piece, I think it has a definite American look to it.  

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Margaret's verse reads:

" be thou faithfull unto death
and I will give thee a crown of life".

She signs her sampler, " Margaret Hodgson's Work 
Aged 9 Yrs."                                                                                                                                                          

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Margaret's sampler is in excellent condition.  There is only one very tiny hole just to the left of the trunk of the large fruit tree in the middle of the sampler.   The colors are vibrant and there are no losses to the threads.  There is a bit of darkening in two vertical areas on either side of the sampler, but it is not very detracting.                                                                                                                               $1825
                                                                                                 New Price     $1245

                                                                         #6745                                                                                                          Dutch Sampler
                                                          

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15 3/4" x 18 3/4".   20 1/4" x 23 1/4 " including a possibly original frame.  This wonderful and very early sampler is typically Dutch in every way.  The stately reclining stag that is a focal point in the center of the sampler is a motif frequently seen on needlework from the Netherlands.   The house with the stairstep roof is typical of the houses we still see in Amsterdam today.   The "spies of canaan", the crowned lady (queen?) in the striped skirt, the florals, the chairs, the gentleman carrying two buckets are all motifs that we associate with Dutch samplers.         

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The scene at the top of the sampler is particularly lovely.  There is the crowned lady surrounded by a fence, with flowers and two really beautiful and regal peacocks.   Inter- estingly, there is another totally different type of peacock motif near the date of the sampler.  It is, of course, dated 1781.  There are also birds, windmills, a basket of fruit, a couple of owls, and two more small figures near the house.                                                                                                                                                  

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The condition of this beautiful sampler is quite good.   There are no holes in the fabric and the silks are still vibrant.  There  is no bleeding and no losses to the silk.  There are, however, several light spots on the sampler.  I believe these to be the result of someone attempting to clean the sampler with a harsh soap or chemical, but while they are noticable, the fabric is still strong and undamaged.  The frame is missing a bit of veneer in the upper corners.  The sampler has been mounted on acid-free board.                                   $2150
                                                                                                     New Price     $1450

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