M. Verstraeten, Northern European, 1819

M. Verstraeten, Northern European, 1819

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sampler size: 12¾” x 13¼” • framed size: 14¼” x 14¾” • price: $1150 $805

Some of the needlework skills taught to schoolgirls were specifically oriented to the embellishment or repair of household fabrics and clothing. Pattern darning – working with the ground cloth to create interesting and various patterns – is one such technique. This sampler, while unfinished, is a very good example. Signed M. Verstraeten and dated 1819, it is greatly similar to a darning sampler (see below) that was published by Witney Antiques in their 2006 catalogue. One can speculate that these were made by sisters, as that sampler is signed Clementine Verstraeten and dated 1817. The font of the alphabets and the cross motifs at the beginning of each, are identical. Additionally, a closely related pattern darned sampler made two decades later by Adele Messelir in 1838 (see below) can be found on page 112 of Labors of Love: America’s Textiles and Needlework 1650-1930 by Judith Reiter Weissman and Wendy Lavitt (Knopf, 1987). Adele used the same two alphabet fonts and one checkerboard cross motif. These three samplers may well have been worked under the same instructress and certainly indicate an enduring tradition.

Worked in silk on linen, the sampler is in very good condition with one hole near the left edge in the center. It has been conservation mounted and is in a modern frame.

From the 2006 Witney Antiques catalogue

From Labors of Love, p.112

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