Treasures from the pastSampler Gallery
Little pieces of history
I have been collecting antique embroidery, especially samplers, since 1985 and the charm and mystery of these pieces of stitching never fail to move me. Recently a quirk of fate put me in the right place at the right time and I was able to purchase a set of antique samplers which I want to share with you. Take a deep breath and prepare to step back in time…
House & Trees Sampler Scrap
This is a single section taken from a much larger sampler from whence came the Tulips. This is a very pretty sampler house with an unusual fence and garden details. The stitching is very fine and has kept the rich colours.
This sampler is supplied framed and glazed in a lovely old wooden frame. When framed, it measures 11.5 x 8in (29 x 20cm)
Rachel Ann Grey Sampler
This sweet little sampler has been worked by Rachel on non-evenweave linen which I have counted, and it appears to be over 40 threads to the inch. We are used to stitching on evenweave fabrics, but the fabric used here could have been 40 threads one direction and 60 threads in the other.
This sampler is complete and, apart from the rust mark, is in very good condition. It has a hand stitched hem around the edge and two complete alphabets and numerous motifs beautifully stitched. The sampler is not dated but I am guessing the end of the 1700s based on the use of some of the motifs which were typical of this period.
I have mounted the sampler on to a piece of unbleached linen and acid free card ready for you to have framed if you wish. The completed sampler measures 5.5 x 9in (14 x 23cm).
Out of stock
Little Crowns & Alphabets Sampler
This charming unsigned and undated sampler includes three alphabets with a row of decorative crowns dividing the bands. It is complete and probably dates from the early 1800s and the colours are just lovely. The sampler is worked in cross stitch and Algerian eye stitches and has a stitched hem around three sides. In the centre area the stitcher has stitched:
If you desire to worship God aright
First in the morning
pray and last at night
The blue, red and golds stand out really well and would benefit from a gold slip inside the frame or a gold detail on the moulding.
I have mounted the sampler on to a piece of unbleached linen and acid free card ready for you to have framed if you wish. The sampler measures 9 x 10in (23 x 5.5cm)
Mamma to Laura Sampler
This very simple but charming little sampler was worked in Chard, Somerset, England and was finished in February 1842. It includes an upper and lowercase alphabet and numbers 1-10.
I have mounted the sampler on to a piece of unbleached linen and acid free card ready for you to have framed if you wish. The sampler measures 6.5 x 7in (16.5 x 18cm).
Out of stock
Elizabeth Seville Sampler
This very special sampler, probably completed in May 1797, is a real joy. It is stitched beautifully on very fine fabric and has an absolutely lovely stitched border worked in greens and pinks. With upper and lowercase alphabets, numbers and a detailed poem about the values of an Education, it is both charming and unusual. Complete and without any damage, this is a real treasure.
I have mounted the sampler on to a piece of unbleached linen and acid free card ready for you to have framed if you wish. The sampler measures 10.5 x 11.75in (27 x 30cm).
Anne Hyne Sampler
Ann’s sampler simply makes me smile not least because of her choice (or her teacher’s choice) of verse and so on, but the fact that she had to darn her piece of linen fabric so that she could sign her name! Her little poem about the sunflower is lovely and certainly very unusual material for the sampler. This is another sampler that would greatly benefit from a simple gold slip being added when it is framed.
I have mounted the sampler on to a piece of unbleached linen and acid free card ready for you to have framed if you wish. The sampler measures 11.5 x 13in (29 x 33cm).
Ann Symons Sampler
This unusual early sampler almost fills the space on the linen completely with few errors and no holes or other damage and has a fine folded hem. Completed by Ann in 1796, it was a real find!
The colours have remained strong and the stitching is wonderfully naïve. Anne has included two alphabets and numbers with decorative crowns as details. In addition, she has worked the Lord’s Prayer in its entirety. We do not know how old she was when she finished her stitching but it is really charming.
I have mounted the sampler on to a piece of unbleached linen and acid free card ready for you to have framed if you wish. The sampler measures 9.5 x 10.5in (24 x 27cm)
Mounting & framing your embroidery
Framing is quite an expensive business these days, but presentation is everything particularly with valuable antique embroidery. If you can supply your framer with the work already mounted it will help to reduce the costs.
- When choosing a frame for a particular project, select the best moulding you can afford.
- Generally, embroidery looks better framed without glass but if you prefer glass use crystal glass, which although more expensive will minimize reflections and distortions.
- You must also ensure that the underside of the glass does not squash the embroidery. Either use a spacer (narrow strips of board), gold slip, or a mount (mat) between the glass and the mounted embroidery to hold them apart.
- Adding a single mount or double mount can add dimension to even the simplest project. Framers have a large selection of mounts in all sizes and colours or will cut one to fit.
- Ask the framer to make up the frame and a coloured or gold slip for you, but buy the frame, glass and so on in kit form (most framers do not mind) and then put it together yourself.
To frame your stitching, stretch and mount, then set aside. Place the frame face down on a covered surface and after cleaning both sides of the glass, place the glass in the frame rebate and insert the gold slip, mount or spacer followed by the stitching. Before fixing in the backboard and sealing the frame, line the inside with aluminium foil, which will discourage thunder flies from finding their way in!