Today I went to Witney Antiques

Rebecca finds very unusual and rare pieces of embroidery. She has, at the moment, an embroidered duck egg.

Owner Rebecca invited me over to see her refurbished shop earlier this week, and today I succumbed both to the visit and more samplers. Tomorrow I am rearranging the sitting room yet again, so I can hang all my treasures. This remarkable shop is the place to go and look at antique samplers and, in fact, any kind of early embroidery. Started by Joy and Simon Jarrett (sadly no longer with us), it is now run by their daughter, embroidery expert Rebecca Scott.

Rebecca’s samplers are quite simply the finest I have ever seen, and most are of superior museum quality and therefore that is reflected in the prices. For the passionate but poor collector, the coloured catalogues are tremendous value – I have them all!

I am not suggesting that I take her cast-offs, but as she generally buys 17th and 18th Century samplers, I can sometimes acquire what I feel is special but maybe does not fit with her current themes. She also finds very unusual and rare pieces of embroidery. She has, at the moment, an embroidered duck egg. No, really… A scholar may be given the task of decorating a duck egg almost as a punishment and this one is embroidered with repeating patterns.

In the autumn of 2022, Rebecca is to host a major exhibition of 17th Century band samplers. Today I was given a tour of many of these. I still have physical pains in my tum after looking at them. Many of these will sell for thousands of pounds… I know that she is working on a very special book to be published to coincide with the exhibition so I will keep you all in the loop and make sure you know all the details.

Already Rebecca has written and illustrated, in my opinion, the best book on the history of samplers, ideal if you want to put a toe in the water.

If you need a sampler fix, may I also humbly suggest my Sampler Study Boxes? 

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