[HNW] Old Spanish Samplers

dibba@mindspring.com dibba at mindspring.com
Wed Jan 23 07:11:44 PST 2002

>So sorry to d-r-a-g this out of you.  But could you tell us where we may see
>images of these samplers so we can appreciate the similarity of the stitches
>to hardanger?

I honestly couldn't tell you now.  I catalogued the pieces in the
late '70s, and the couple who owned them were quite elderly at that
time.  I tried to contact them once, in the mid-'80s, with no luck.

However, when I was charting some designs at the Western Reserve
Historical Society (Cleveland, OH),  they did have a number of these
in the collection - not on display.  In fact, they had some
remarkable samplers from all over the world that were absolutely
gorgeous.   The stitching on the red-worked German samplers was
incredibly fine.  One very interesting colonial English sampler that
I believe came from one of the islands in the West Indies, had the
most surprising colors on it.  I used to be the curator of textiles
at a Massachusetts museum, and did quite a bit of research at the
time.  Never have I seen colors used on an early 18th century piece
like those that were on the WRH sampler.  Bright, almost neon,
turquoise, pinks, etc. Large, lobsters (5") , parrots, and other
unusual motifs.  Quite amazing.  It really made me question our
thoughts about 'appropriate' colors for the period.  I should add
here, I've spent quite a bit of time on the backs of samplers, gently
separating threads for color accuracy in cataloguing and for
charting.  One wonders about the dyes used.  After seeing that one
sampler, a real eye-opener, I'd almost say anything goes.



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