Pinkeep Sampler, Mary Plampin,

Pinkeep Sampler, Mary Plampin,

Staffordshire, England, circa 1715

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Size: 7” x 1¾” • sold

Young girl occasionally made small needlworked objects as presentation pieces and many of these served a practical purpose as tools for stitchers. This rare, small sampler is also a pinkeep for the needles and straight pins needed for further embroideries. The sampler displays an uppercase alphabet in alternating deep magenta and chartreuse silk followed by the inscription “MARY PLAMPIN BORN IN THE YEAR OF OUR LORD 1700 DECEMBER THE 14,” and completed with a full numeric progression; four small crowns are placed throughout.

Thomas Plampin married Mary Bly in 1687 in Great Wenham, Suffolk and then moved to Rowley Regis, Staffordshire by 1700 where our samplermaker, Mary, was born. The move took them from the eastern coast of England to the West Midlands, in a central region centuries later known as Black Country due to the mines and factories thriving there during the Industrial Revolution.

This beautifully worked sampler pinkeep is evidence of Miss Plampin’s own industrious skill. The sampler was worked in silk on linen and sewn to silk, which holds the needles and, along with a swatch of wool, the pins. It remains in excellent condition, with an old replacement silk ribbon that ties it closed. 

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