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Sampler

1786 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

The original purpose of a sampler was to record all the different stitches that the maker knew. But from the 18th century samplers emphasised the maker’s ability to embroider words and pictorial motifs. Mary Hall’s sampler is a mixture of old and new fashions. The Montgolfier Brothers’ hot air balloon, the first recorded example, had taken off in France only three years earlier, in 1783. The verse ‘Fragrant the rose is’, however, is in a melancholy poetic tradition that dwelt on the brevity of mortal life and was particularly popular in Britain in the 16th and 17th centuries.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Wool and silk blend fabric, embroidered with silk threads
Brief Description
Sampler, embroidered in coloured silks by Mary Hall in England in 1786
Physical Description
Sampler embroidered in coloured silks on a wool and silk blend fabric. The sampler is embroidered at the upper edge with two verses in blue thread above the maker's name and date, and the rest of the sampler is worked with spot motifs, mainly containers of stylized flowers, in coloured silks. A hot-air balloon with a flag hanging over each side of the basketis stitched just below the maker's name.
Production typeUnique
Marks and Inscriptions
  • Fragrant the Rose is but it fades in time/ The Violet sweet but quickly past the prime/ White Lilies hang their heads and soon decay/ And whiter snow in Minutes melts away/ Such and so with'ring are our early Joys/ Which Time or Sickness speedily destroys (Textual information; centre of upper edge; embroidering; thread)
  • Virtue's the chiefest Beauty of the Mind/ The noblest Ornament of Human kind/ Virtue's our Safeguard and our guiding Star/ That stirs up Reason when our senses err. (Textual information; just above centre of sampler; embroidering; thread)
  • Mary Hill. Wye.1786. (Maker's identification; centre of sampler; embroidering; thread)
Credit line
Given by Miss Emma Monteith
Subjects depicted
Summary
The original purpose of a sampler was to record all the different stitches that the maker knew. But from the 18th century samplers emphasised the maker’s ability to embroider words and pictorial motifs. Mary Hall’s sampler is a mixture of old and new fashions. The Montgolfier Brothers’ hot air balloon, the first recorded example, had taken off in France only three years earlier, in 1783. The verse ‘Fragrant the rose is’, however, is in a melancholy poetic tradition that dwelt on the brevity of mortal life and was particularly popular in Britain in the 16th and 17th centuries.
Collection
Accession Number
CIRC.45-1922

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record createdFebruary 20, 2004
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