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  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    mid 17th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Linen embroidered with silks and linen

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Janet Harris, Susan M. Jones and Lynda Smith

  • 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. This is a type known as a band sampler. With the composition of band samplers comes the first clear indication in England of the form being used as a method of instruction and practice for girls learning needlework.

Physical description

Long and narrow sampler of tightly-woven linen, the top edge formed by the selvedge and the other edges turned and hemmed.

Embroidered predominantly with green and blue silk, with some dull red silk and white linen thread in double running, cross, two-sided cross, stem and speckling stitches, and with detached trellis stitch (some over padding) and a diaper filling of linked fly stitches. With knots.

The sampler is divided into sixteen bands varying in depth from 0.875 inch (2 cms) to 2.5 inches (6.5 cms). The linear designs are all based on Italian zigzag and angular 'coiling' stem patterns. The last and most ornate band of bunches of grapes depending from leafy stems is unfinished. Several of the embroidered lines separating the different patterns have come unworked, leaving only the needle holes.

Place of Origin

England (made)


mid 17th century (made)



Materials and Techniques

Linen embroidered with silks and linen


Height: 60.5 cm, Width: 14.5 cm, Height: 23.75 in, Width: 5.75 in

Object history note

Registered File number 1987/1726.
The sampler is one of a group of six mid-17th century samplers all associated with the Mason family and handled down in the family of the donors. T.182 to 187-1987 in the collection.

Descriptive line

Linen sampler embroidered with silks and linen, England, mid 17th 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.

Labels and date

The family of the donors have stipulated that the samplers should be retained as a group within the Museum's collection. T.182 to 187-1987. []


Linen (material); Silk thread; Linen thread



Subjects depicted

Grapes; Leaves; Zigzag


Household objects; Textile; Embroidery


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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