Sampler

Maker: Anna Buckett

Date: 1656

Culture: British

Medium: Linen worked with silk thread; long-and-short, split, stem, back, tent, cross, and satin stiches

Dimensions: H. 27 7/8 x W. 10 3/8 inches (70.8 x 26.4 cm); Framed: H. 30 3/4 x W. 12 1/4; D. 1 1/4 (78.1 x 31.1; 3.2 cm)

Classification: Textiles-Embroidered

Credit Line: Gift of Irwin Untermyer, 1964

Accession Number: 64.101.1327

Description

This type of sampler is known as a band sampler, composed of horizontal rows or bands of embroidered patterns worked along the surface of the linen. Most of the patterns themselves were quite old-fashioned by this time; many of them derive from sixteenth-century printed pattern books. This sampler was made during the Commonwealth period when Oliver Cromwell was Lord Protector of England. Anna Buckett, the maker of the sampler, dated it precisely to July 12, 1656—perhaps the day it was completed.

This particular example has the additional feature of a small landscape at the top, where a couple face each other; a loyal dog and Cupid, swooping down from above, encourage their happy union. The presence of the pictorial scene brings the sampler into the realm of decorative objects produced as an end in and of themselves.

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