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Sampler

mid 19th century (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

The earliest samplers were reference works for embroiderers. They showed 'samples' of patterns and stitches and recorded how to achieve particular effects. In Europe in the 17th century samplers provided instruction and practice for girls learning needlework. Making a sampler was part of a girl's school education throughout the 18th century and into the early 1800s. After about 1850 samplers were mostly used to educate only girls who wanted to become professional embroiderers. This sampler is an exercise in Berlin wool work. The maker has used counted thread stitches on a double canvas.
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
Embroidered cotton with wools and silks
Brief description
Sampler made of two joined lengths of cotton embroidered with coloured wools and silks, made by Sarah Bland, England, mid 19th century.
Physical description
Sampler made of two joined lengths of cotton embroidered in gros point with coloured wools and silks in cross stitch. There is one pattern worked in Leviathan stitch and a small sample of fern stitch. The patterns worked include a variety of complicated geometric and floral designs, together with scrolls and tassels.
Dimensions
  • Height: 133.4cm
  • Width: 21.5cm
  • Height: 53.5in
  • Width: 8.5in
Marks and inscriptions
Credit line
Given by Mrs D. McGregor
Summary
The earliest samplers were reference works for embroiderers. They showed 'samples' of patterns and stitches and recorded how to achieve particular effects. In Europe in the 17th century samplers provided instruction and practice for girls learning needlework. Making a sampler was part of a girl's school education throughout the 18th century and into the early 1800s. After about 1850 samplers were mostly used to educate only girls who wanted to become professional embroiderers. This sampler is an exercise in Berlin wool work. The maker has used counted thread stitches on a double canvas.
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.240-1967

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Record createdNovember 21, 2002
Record URL
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