[HNW] 'Blackwork' Filling Patterns
eowyna at sca-caid.org
Wed Apr 7 09:49:19 PDT 2004
I am collecting instances of blackwork-style filling
used in 17th and 18th c. samplers, done either in color or
I have the FitzWilliam Samplers book (by Carol Humphries),
the V&A needlework book (by King and Levey), the Samplers
from the V&A book (Clare Browne and Jennifer Weardon),
and the Dorset Co. exhibit book (by Kathleen Staples).
There are some instances of blackwork- style filling
patterns used in figures in these books. I am not
primarily a sampler person (my focus is more 16th c.),
but I am collecting instances of "blackwork" filling
patterns being used in samplers.
I am not looking at bands of patterns that could be used
such as one can see in the Bostock sampler, but rather
cases where there is a figure with a patterned filling
pattern inside, whether that filling is done in either
black thread or colored thread.
I do not mean blackwork on clothing.
For example, pulling down the Browne and Weardon book, go
to p. 135. There is a picture of a man and a woman on a
greensward, and above them is a band of flowers. The
greenward is filled with a pattern in green thread, the
man's garb is filled with 2 patterns in brown (jerkin and
pants) and the woman's garb is filled with a red pattern
for the dress and a blue pattern for the underskirt. The
tree between them is filled with a green pattern. The
band of flowers above them are filled with green patterns
(on the leaf parts) and blue patterns on the flower
parts. So by "figure" I mean the flowers, tree, and
greensward as well as the human figures.
As it happens, the illustration on p. 135 is of the back
sampler. The front was (presumably later) overstitched
with detached buttonhole, hiding most of the patterned
Have you seen examples in other books?
What is the piece (and where did you see it)?
Are the fillings monochrome?
What color are the fillings?
What is the approx. year of the piece?
On the Blackwork list, I've gotten pointers to examples
in "Samplers" by Susan Mayor & Diana Fowle and the cover
of "Samplers" by Averil Colby. I also have been pointed
to a sampler in the Middleton Collection (in Nottingham),
but don't have a specific citation.
Has anyone seen this style elsewhere?
Or even not on samplers?
Thanks for any citations,
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