Mar 28, 2015

What is a sampler

Happy weekend to you.  We have a light dusting of snow this morning which makes me crabby.  Off to a good start.  The pain is much better though as long as I don't smack the huge shoe into the leg of a cabinet or the stair riser.
 
When I asked about the works so similar to Mary Antrim's, I received a reply from a sampler enthusiast who is also the owner of several featured in the current exhibit, stating there is a group of similar samplers all made in Burlington County NJ.  The Morven Museum in Princeton is showing 151 NJ schoolgirl samplers of 1726-1860 and ends tomorrow the 29th.  If you go to their website you can purchase a catalog from the exhibit under the shop tab.  In reading an article about the Antrim piece which was sold for the highest price on record for a needlework sampler ($1,070,500), I found there is another needlework scene that sold for a little more.  The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston purchased View of Boston Common by Hannah Otis (1732-1801), stitched around 1750 for $1,157,500 in 1996.  I wonder what the bid would be today, almost 20 years later.
The article said it's a huge piece embroidered in wool and silk on linen.  But it's not considered a sampler which is why Antrim is listed as the most expensive.
 
But Antrim's is also a scene, with some cross stitches in addition to lots of embroidery stitches.  What's the difference?  I always thought samplers were letters and verse.  So what determines classification of needlework?   Does it matter?  Since I don't plan on spending a million for a beautiful antique, no.  But that doesn't mean I'm not curious.  Even today, many charts are listed as samplers, but I see a design, not what I would consider a sampler.  So what is a sampler?  This crab wants to know.  I have books on them but I only look at the pictures!  Guess I should start reading.  Maybe that will be my goal this summer as I sit on my swing, if it ever warms up. 
 
 
Have a great weekend!
 
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11 comments:

Maggee said...

I always thought samplers had to have alphabets also! Tho I agree, many are called samplers and are repros of a scene or just a scene. I am too busy to research it, so look forward to what you find out this summer! Hugs!

Plumruncreek ♥ said...

Love them! No matter what they are called!! LOL!

Julie - My Primitive Heart said...

Hi Marly,
Both of these are just gorgeous!!! I always thought a sampler had an alphabet too!! Guess some pieces would be considered Needlework, Embroidery, Tapestry, but by whatever name, they are lovely Stitcheries!!
Hope you feel better and watch out for those chair and table legs!!
Warm Hugs~
Julie

Rugs and Pugs said...

I'm with you...a sampler has at least one alphabet!
Oh, I've gotten behind on my blog reading. I hope you heal quickly and Carole begins to appreciate all you do.
I ADORE Spot.
Hugs :)
Lauren

samplerlover said...

I always thought that a sampler needn't have the alphabet, but would have a moralist verse and different motifs forming a pleasing scene. I guess it would depend on how old the girl was whether or not it would have the alphabet. Older girls samplers tend to have a verse and are a sample of their ability with a needle and thread. This is just my humble opinion btw :).

Hope your going well with your leg. No fun having leg problems.

Barb said...

First, so sorry about the weather! You must be getting really sick of it. I have no idea how to define a sampler. I do know that I started stitching because of the cost of the samplers!

Margaret said...

Samplers have alphabets, I agree. But boy, are those beauties!!

jhm said...

check out http://www.samplersurvey.org/

wonderful research and photos.

JHM
http://needleworkerssamplings.blogspot.com/

Lori from Notforgotten Farm said...


well, I feel that a sampler is just that ~ a sample, sampling, examplar or example of the needleworkers' talent...
so alphabet or no alphabet, if it has stitches, it's a sampler to me :)

Leanna said...

Hello, Marly! What is it...about you...that just makes me so happy? You always make me laugh...and today, as sick as I am, with the 'flu...to hear you call yourself a CRAB...I nearly fell down, laughing!
I had called myself exactly that, ten minutes earlier.

Kindred Spirits, Darling!!
Thank you for your wonderful blog.
Love, Leanna

Ele said...

I always thought samplers were meant as a way to learn how to do needlework and free hand embroidery. Sort of a mix between a collection of stitches/patterns and a way to practice them
But I am no expert! :)

Have a relaxing day

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