Sampler Gallery
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                                                                       #8031                                                                                            

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17th Century Needlework Casket - I can honestly say that I have never before been able to offer anything as rare as this stunning needlework casket. It is circa 1650 and given the fact that it has never been protected by a frame, and that it has undoubtedly been handled and used for over 350 years, it is absolutely amazing that it is still here today.  This casket is very, very special.  Needlework caskets (or boxes) were made in the 17th century for very wealthy young ladies to keep their treasures and tokens safe. This one may have held letters, jewels or special momentos.

The box is wood covered with linen.  As the pictures show, the linen is filled with lovely swirls, flowers and flourishes. These are outlined using metallic threads and filled in with a velvet-like material and stitching. The needlework covers the front, the back, the two ends and the domed top. The box is made in the shape of a treasure chest and it measures 11" x 7 1/2" x 8 1/2" high.  The inside of the box is lined in a red padded silk.  The bottom of the box is covered in a deep red leather. 

Of course it is showing some wear but considering the extreme age, I think it is still quite lovely. The needlework itself is still in good condition and appears to be strong.  There are several areas of the background linen that look a bit ragged.  Please click on the picture enlargements to get an idea of the condition of the piece.  Both ends of the casket have linen damage just under the lid, as does the back. Amazingly, there are no holes in the linen, but the linen is in rough condition in places. A fair amount of the leather on the bottom of the casket has worn away around the outside edges.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
    

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                                                                                                                            $2350

                                                                             #8037                                                                                                      Rachel Forbes Sampler               

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10 " x 16 1/4".  12 " x 18 1/2 " including a vintage wood frame with a gilt liner. Rachel's lovely sampler appears to be Scottish, although we have not found her place of birth as yet.  She was clearly an accomplished needle woman as she used several different interesting stitches, including cross stitch, rice stitch, satin stitch, eyelet stitch, double running stitch and queen stitch. She filled her sampler with florals, birds, crowns, trees, a verse and a delicate honeysuckle vine border.  The different stitches add quite a bit of texture to the needlework which draws the eye and makes it seem quite vibrant. The rice stitch and queen stitch are thick and rich, while the double running stitch is light and delicate.  All in all, it is a lovely design worked by an excellent stitcher.  The family initials included are "AF, EF, GP, JP, JH, and JP". The sampler is circa 1790 - 1810.

    

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Her verse reads:

"This I have done that you
May see what care my
Parents took of me"

She signed her sampler " Rachel Forbes".

                                                                                    

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The condition of Rachel's sampler is quite good. There are two very small holes at the beginning of the second floral band, but no other holes anywhere on the sampler.  In the bottom center of the piece there are some stains, but they are small and there are no other issues to the condition of the sampler. It has been mounted on acid-free board.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  $1635

                                                                             #8060                                                                                                      Hannah White Sampler              

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15 3/4 " x 14 3/4".  19 3/4 " x 18 3/4 " including a 19th century bird's eye maple frame with a gilt liner.  Hannah was just nine years old when she stitched her beautiful sampler in 1831. She created a lovely garden of flowers and foliage surrounding a verse with a wonderful moralistic lesson. This is an excellent example of a teacher who uses a child's sampler to teach more than just needlework.  The florals are many and varied and they are beautifully creative. There is a great deal of texture and depth that makes the flowers almost seem real.

Her verse reads:

Tempt me not with colours fine
Clothes that are to make me gay
Were such useless pleasures mine  

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They might lead my thoughts astray

Dress though fine is but put on
Neither makes me good nor great
Pride may teach me to look down
On my friends in humble state

As I am I feel content
Knowing all is for the best
Had I more I might repent
Pride indulged becomes a Pest".

                                                                                    

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The condition of Hannah's sampler is good. There are two holes in the fabric, one large and one small.  The large one is located in the top right corner just beneath the large white flower. The small one is between the words "me" and "good" in the second verse.  There is just a bit of darkening in the verse area, but it is really minimal. The sampler has been mounted on acid-free board.                                                                                                                                                                                             SOLD

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  #8061                         

18th Century Needlework Mirror -

This gorgeous needlework mirror is stunningly rare.  I believe this to be circa 1760. The workmanship is excellent. The red carnations are so realsitic that you wonder if the stitcher was an artist with a brush as well as a needle. She stitched a lovely flame stitch border around the mirror and filled her needlework with with stunning florals and delicate feathery foliage. n.b.The reflection that you see in the picture is the ceiling of the room.
 

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The needlework is oval in shape and measures 13 1/2" x 11 1/2".  The mirror measures 7 1/4" x 5 1/2" and has been replaced. The needlework has been padded and mounted on wood, as you can see by the picture of the back of the piece. This is obviously the original finishing for the mirror. I believe the padding is sawdust. There is some staining around the edges of the needlework, mostly on the top and right side. The linen has 3 small splits where the front edge meets the back. These measure 1 1/4", 1 1/2" and 1/2". Other than the staining, this piece of needlework history is in really good condition for its extreme age.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                $1875

                                                                             #8062                                                                                                      Mary Matthew Sampler              

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11 3/4 " x 13 1/2".  15 1/2 " x 17 1/4 " including a 19th century bird's eye maple frame with a gilt liner. Mary's charming sam- pler is filled with graceful florals and a lovely inspirational verse about hope.  The florals are beautifully stitched and quite realis- tic. The stems of foliage appear to be blowing gently in the wind. She also included an alphabet and a lovely undulating border. Mary signed and dated her sampler and while the third number of the date has faded away, I believe the sampler to be circa 1838.

 

    

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Her verse reads:

"Hope is the first great Blessing here below
The only balm to heal corroding woe
It is the staff of age the sick man's health
The prisoner's freedom and the poor man's wealth
The sailor's safety lasting as our breath
It still holds nor quits us e'en in death"

She signed her sampler "Mary Matthew  18_ 8".

                                                                                    

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The silks are still showing a lovely sheen although there is a bit of thread loss in the verse and signature areas. Mary's sweet sampler has spent some time folded into quarters and the fabric is showing some wear along the fold marks.  In addition there is wear along the top and left border areas.  There is one large hole in the left center border and a smaller one in the top left border.  It has been mounted on acid-free board.                                                                                                                                         $750
                                                    

                                                                             #8057                                                                                                      Mary Ann Muir Sampler               

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13 " x 171/2" or 15 3/4" x 20" including a 19th century maple frame. This gorgeous Scottish house sampler was stitched by Mary Ann Muir in 1828. The visual impact of her stunning design is dramatic.  The beautiful house features seven multi- paned windows, a tiled roof and four smoking chimneys. The front garden is surrounded by an elegant brick fence and there is a strutting peacock on the lawn. The two elaborate fruit trees are beautifully stitched and very impressive. 
 
The floral bouquet surrounding the verse at the top is also quite beautiful. The flowers are very detailed and they add a grace- fully delicate elegance to Mary Ann's lovely sampler.  She sur- rounded her piece with an undulating floral border and added the family initials of "EM, JM, JM, and MM". 

 

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Her verse reads:

"Jesus permit thy gracious name to stand
As the first efforts of an infant's hand
And while her fingers on the canvas move
Engage her tender thoughts to seek thy love
With thy dear children let her have a part
And write thy name thyself upon her heart".

She signed her sampler, "Mary Ann Muir 1828".

                                                                                    

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There is a fair amount of damage to the right and bottom edges of the fabric, particularly the bottom left corner.  But most of the damage is outside the stitching area.  There is also just a bit of damage in the verse near the word "effort"and a tiny bit of bleeding near the fruit trees. The sampler is otherwise in good condition.  The colors are vibrant and there are almost no losses to the silks. It has been mounted on acid-free board.                                                                                                       $3195

                                                                             #8067                                                                                                      Jane Crow Sampler               

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19" x 19 1/2". 24 " x 24 1/2 " including a 19th century bird's eye maple frame. Mary Crow was born on August 5, 1825 in Angus County, Montrose, Scotland.  Her parents were James Crow and Jane Strachan.  In the 1841 Scotland Census, she listed her occupation as "flaxspinner".  Perhaps she spun the flax for this very piece of linen!

Her sampler features a lovely Scottish alphabet, a large undulat- ing pansy band, a charming sailing ship and Adam and Eve under the tree of life.  She also added several family initials including  "JC, EK, JC, JC, AC, MC, EC,AF, MF, and AN". 

                                          

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Her verse reads:

"Love them that love me
And those that seek me
Shall early find me."

She signed her sampler,  " Jane Crow's Work 
Aged 12  1837".

                                                                                    

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The condition of Jane's sampler is good. There is a hole in each of the top two corners and one more next to the second bloom in the large floral band.  And while some of the letter- ing is a bit faded, it is still readable. There are no losses to the stitching.   The sampler has been lined with an old piece of cotton which is probably original to the piece and it has been mounted on acid-free board.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               $1775                                                                                                                        

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