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  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1669 (dated)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Edlin, Martha, born 1660 - died 1725 (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Linen embroidered with silk and linen thread, and with cutwork

  • Credit Line:

    Purchased with the assistance of the National Heritage Memorial Fund and Art Fund

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Martha Edlin worked a series of embroideries during her childhood that for 300 years were passed down through the female line in her family. Following the normal development of needlework skills in a young girl from a prosperous family in the mid-17th century, she worked a sampler in coloured silks at the age of eight, and this more complicated piece in whitework and cutwork at nine. By 1671, her eleventh year, she had embroidered the panels of an elaborate casket, and two years later a beadwork jewel case.The needlework skills she demonstrated in these pieces would be an important attribute in later life, both in the management of her household and the personal adornment of herself and her family.

Physical description

Band sampler embroidered on linen with silk and linen thread in satin stitch. Three different sized bands of geometrical whitework, and three bands of cutwork, and two of them incorporating S-shapes. 'ME' [for Martha Edlin] and the date '1669' are embroidered at the bottom edge.

Place of Origin

England (made)


1669 (dated)


Edlin, Martha, born 1660 - died 1725 (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Linen embroidered with silk and linen thread, and with cutwork

Marks and inscriptions

'16 ME 69'
Decoration embroidered in silk at lower end


Length: 38.1 cm, Width: 23.5 cm

Object history note

Purchased. Registered File number 1989/1572.
Passed down through the female line (usually the eldest daughter in each generation) from the maker to the vendor.
Previously on loan to the V&A since 1927. Part of Lady Gerahty Loan and Lewis Loan. Related papers include NF for Lady Gerahty, NF for Gillian Lewis, 86/713, 89/1572.

Descriptive line

Linen sampler embroidered with silk and linen thread, made by Martha Edlin, England, dated 1669.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Ashton, Leigh. Martha Edlin: A Stuart Embroideress. Connoisseur. Vol. LXXXI pp.215-223
Browne, Clare and Jennifer Wearden, eds. Samplers from the Victoria and Albert Museum. London: V&A Publications, 1999. 144 p., ill. ISBN 1851773096.


Linen (material); Silk thread


Cutwork; Embroidered


Household objects; Textiles; Embroidery


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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