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.                                                                                                                                                                                                        $895

                                                                         #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.                                                                                                                                   $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.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         $2650

                                                                         #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.                                                                                                                                                                                               $1450

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#6263
 Mary Ann Stark Sampler

12 1/2" x 12 1/2". 15 3/4" x 15 3/4" including probably the original frame.  Mary Ann's lovely silkwork sampler is a mourning sampler for her brother, Charles.  She stitched a beautiful floral border surrounding florals, trees, birds, cherubs and a very poignant verse.   The center of the sampler also has a very lovely basket of flowers.  She signed her sampler " Mary ann Stark 1848".

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The verse reads:                                                       " The Death of a Brother                                       Charles is gone dear youth how                             Suddent was the stroke he received                       When coming home from work                             Short was the time he had in this world to stay      For God who gave can surely take away".               

    

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The condition of Mary ann's sampler is good although there are some holes.   They are mostly in the border area with the only really noticable one being above the small heart near the right border. There are two or three others but they are not obvious. The color of the silks are still vibrant and there is only one stain in the top left corner. 
                                                                                                                                         $695


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#5470

Pheby Searson Sampler - 12" X 17". 17 1/2" X 22" including new frame. This sweet verse and motif sampler is dated 1805. While there is some thread loss in the verse area, it is still mostly legible. It reads "Hard lot of mine my

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days are cast among the sons of strife whose never ceasing sprawling waste my golden words of life. Peace is the blessing that I seek. How lovely are its charms. I am for peace but when I speak they all declare for arms."  This verse probably refers

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to the battle of Trafalgar which occured Oct. 21, 1805.  The verse is surrounded by a lovely series of motifs and a strawberry border.  In addition to the thread loss, there are three holes located in the left border near the top, under the first word of the verse and the bottom left near the fruit basket. It has been conservation mounted and framed.
                                                                                                                                                                                               $585

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