Rosanne Robberds,

Rosanne Robberds,

Norwich, England, circa 1830

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sampler size: 9¾” x 9½” • framed size: 12½” x 12¼” • price: $2100

Rosanne Robberds was born in Norwich, Norfolk, England in 1818 to Jonas Henry Robberds and Sarah Unthank; she was the first of their nine children. Samplers from Norfolk are prevalent and a notable source for these is Imitation and Improvement: The Norfolk Sampler Tradition by scholar and author Joanne Martin Lukacher (In the Company of Friends, LLC, 2013). Rosanne’s sampler fits squarely into this tradition.

Likely one of Miss Robberds first samplers, as it is primarily a marking sampler, she worked a double-letter, uppercase alphabet and numeric progression in alternating green and brown threads. This is followed by a larger, eyelet-stitched alphabet, indicative of samplers from Norwich, and each line is divided by a decorative band. Another key Norwich element are the baguette cartouches where Rosanne signed her name and, in the English fashion of symmetry, one on either side with simple pictorial elements; Rosanne stitched notably fine trees with lions and flying birds in hers. A lowercase alphabet, including the always appealing punctuation and more numbers line the bottom of her sampler. This sampler is a new discovery and reflective of the group Ms. Lukacher refers to as “Simple Samplers,” pp. 206-220.

Worked in silk and linen on linen, this sampler is in excellent condition. It has been conservation mounted and remains in its original frame with original backboard and Norwich framer’s label, shown here:

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