Motif and Alphabet Sampler,

Motif and Alphabet Sampler,

probably Brevik, Norway, 1845

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sampler size: 9¾” x 11" • frame size: 11¾” x 13¼” • sold

We have come across only a handful of samplers worked on dyed red wool in our four decades of experience in this field; the use of this color entirely alters the aesthetics of a sampler and we suspect the needleworkers enjoyed stitching on this richly colored ground. This sampler shares characteristics with others made in Scandinavia – tightly designed, stylized images that include birds, deer, lions and pots of flowers interspersed with initials and crowns in a mirror-image arrangement. Alphabets fill the lower register and the date, 1845, sits near the lower right corner.

Use of the slashed O in two sets of initials points to Denmark or Norway as the likely origin. Handwritten notations on the sampler’s original backboard include the name of the town, Brevik, which is on the coast south of Oslo. Worked in silk on wool, it is in very good condition with some slight wear and stabilization. It has been conservation mounted and is in a molded, black painted frame. 

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