Early Band Sampler,

Early Band Sampler,

Scotland, 1711

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sampler size: 16” x 8½” • sold

We are pleased to offer this rare, particularly early, Scottish band sampler as it carries the significantly early date of 1711. Renowned author and scholar of Scottish samplers, Naomi Tarrant, comments in her book, ‘Remember Now Thy Creator:’ Scottish Girls’ Samplers, 1700-1872 (National Museums Scotland, 2014) on page 13 “… there are very few samplers dating before 1740… The earliest known dated piece is an alphabet sampler of 1713, now in poor condition, but it has alphabets worked in red and green…” Perhaps our 1711 sampler is now the earliest known dated Scottish sampler. Further information about the field of Scottish samplers in the overall is available on the site antiquesamplers.org.

This sampler indeed displays the specific and highly decorative, quintessentially Scottish red and green alphabets, as well as family initials, the use of which is another classic characteristic of Scottish samplers. This maker was clearly proficient with a needle and this is evident by the very neatly worked back of the sampler shown below.

We graciously thank renowned collector and scholar of Scottish samplers, Leslie Durst, for assisting us with this sampler and for her help in transcribing the note on the old backboard: “Miss Frazer, Rowmore House, Garelochhead, Date when worked, 1711 AD.” Indeed, Rowmore is an historic house in Garelochhead, Helensburgh, Dunbartonshire, northwest of Glasgow. Other notation indicates that the sampler was later in a collection in Wimbledon, England, and was evidently framed there, as a framer’s label is still affixed at the bottom of this backboard. This sampler was quite possibly first framed then, as it was common for a needleworker to store her band sampler unframed and gently rolled up, for reference.

Worked in silk on linen, this sampler remains in very good condition, but with some overall slight darkening to the linen. We offer it unmounted which, of course, allows for greater study of both the front and the back. 

  

(images of the reverse of the sampler and of the old backboard)

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