Darning sampler, Netherlands, 1874

Darning sampler, Netherlands, 1874

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sampler size: 9¾” square • framed size: 12” square • sold

The great majority of darning samplers originated in the Netherlands where students were taught to recreate weave structures and specific patterns so that they would be prepared to repair valuable household fabrics and clothing. These samplers were the proof of their lessons and many collectors are particularly fond of them. Dutch samplermakers generally used their initials, rarely their names, to sign their work.

This small sampler, initialed HID, is just as beautifully made as those a century earlier. The four darns fill the cut and discarded squares with four different patterns and the initials and date are framed with patterns created by needle weaving. A particularly good drawn-work edge finishes the sampler well.

Silk on linen, the sampler is in excellent condition and has been conservation mounted into a molded and painted black frame.


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