Darning Sampler,

Darning Sampler,

Netherlands, 1793

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sampler size: 11¼” square • framed size: 14¾” square • sold

Darning samplers hold special appeal to collectors and needleworkers today due to their strong graphic quality and the practical, yet impressive, skill they display. Household textiles and clothing were very expensive and treasured by all strata of society. An understanding of weave structure and the ability to use this knowledge to prolong the life of valued fabrics was therefore considered an important skill.

Most known darning samplers are Dutch and date from the mid-18th to the early 19th centuries; they are generally signed only with the initials of the maker. This darning sampler is dated 1793 and includes six sets of initials, one with each darn, which was completed in a different weave pattern. The initials and various crowns were worked in fine eyelet stitches and a simple pair of birds in the bottom corners round out the composition. A drawnwork and bound edge finishes the sampler and proves the exemplary skill of this needleworker.

Worked in silk on linen, this darning sampler remains in excellent condition. It has been conservation mounted in a gold frame.

Image of reverse of sampler

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