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  • Place of origin:

    Egypt (made)

  • Date:

    14th century-16th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Linen, embroidered with silk in double running stitch

  • Credit Line:

    Given by G. D. Hornblower, Esq.

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

In their earliest form, samplers were put together as personal reference works for embroiderers. They were trials of patterns and stitches that had been copied from others, and records of particular effects achieved that could be recreated again. They would have been the work, not of children, but of more experienced embroiderers, and, to judge from the quality of samplers like this one, of professionals too. Such stitch and pattern collections may have been assembled in any community in which embroidery for decorative effect was widely practised; our knowledge of early examples depends on the few pieces to have survived. This is one of the earliest examples in the Museum's collection, which was found in an Egyptian burial ground.

Physical description

Embroidered sampler

Place of Origin

Egypt (made)


14th century-16th century (made)



Materials and Techniques

Linen, embroidered with silk in double running stitch


Height: 42.5 cm, Width: 22.8 cm

Descriptive line

Middle East, Textile; Linen sampler embroidered with silk; Egyptian; 14th to 16th century

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

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




Embroidery; Textiles


Middle East Section

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