Pictorial Sampler, Holland, circa 1800

Pictorial Sampler, Holland, circa 1800

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sampler size: 11¾” x 20” • framed size: 14” x 22¼” • sold

Dutch samplers tend to offer a wonderful combination of stunning, symbolic and widely varied pictorial motifs along with consistently excellent needlework, and it’s not surprising to find such work dating back to the 17th century. This sampler showcases some of these motifs worked in an unusually large scale. It includes the Spies of Canaan (Joshua and Caleb holding a large bunch of grapes between them) in the lower left, the hollow post windmill with the miller and his assistant in the upper left. On the right side, we find the Dutch Maiden with the cap of liberty in the Garden of Holland in the upper corner, angels holding a cartouche with a pendulous cartouche dangling from it and in the lower corner a pair of birds perch above a hart (or deer) and dog facing inward.

These individual scenes form the framework around the large central scene, featuring a step-gabled house with wonderful details such as the hardware on the doors and window shutters. A flag flies from the chimney. Fences extend from either side and birds poise on craggy trees, which follow the lines of the house joining above by a fruited vine.

A classic Dutch rendition of the early letter A begins an alphabet and progression of numbers along the top and the work has been bordered by a zigzag green line on all four sides. Overall this is a handsome and well-composed sampler.

Workedin silk on linen, it is in excellent condition and has been conservation mounted into a black painted, molded frame.

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