Sampler thumbnail 1
Sampler thumbnail 2
Not currently on display at the V&A

Sampler

14th century-16th century (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

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.
read Embroidery – a history of needlework samplers Our collection includes over 700 needlework samplers ranging from as early as the 1400s, to pieces stitched in the 20th century. They offer a fascinating insight into the practice and teaching of an important domestic craft. Find out how the social and educational significance of samplers ...
object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Linen, embroidered with silk in double running stitch
Brief Description
Middle East, Textile; Linen sampler embroidered with silk; Egyptian; 14th to 16th century
Physical Description
Embroidered sampler
Dimensions
  • Height: 42.5cm
  • Width: 22.8cm
Style
Credit line
Given by G. D. Hornblower, Esq.
Summary
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.
Bibliographic Reference
Browne, Clare and Jennifer Wearden, eds. Samplers from the Victoria and Albert Museum. London : V&A Publications, 1999. 144 p., ill. ISBN 1851773096.
Collection
Accession Number
T.326-1921

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record createdNovember 8, 2002
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