As part of their needlework training, one of the most practical skills at which a girl could become proficient was darning, allowing her to extend the life of costly household textiles and clothing. To teach this skill, instructresses cut away square holes in the ground fabric of samplers and required students to reproduce, via needle weaving, particular patterns to mend the area. Darning samplers exhibit both refined techniques and excellent graphic qualities.
This fine darning sampler is initialed HMB and HH, likely those of the maker and her teacher. The date, 1824, worked in tiny digits, appears in the four inner corners of the center square which is darned back into the linen using a mending technique. Notably, very fine eyelet stitches were used for the initials and the crown. And, quite significantly, the back of the sampler is as carefully finished as the front.
The sampler remains unframed at this point, as it has been throughout its 198 years. It is in excellent condition; it could be mounted and framed, if so desired.
photo of reverse