[HNW] Regarding Samplers/Illiteracy

embroidery at penpoint.biz embroidery at penpoint.biz
Wed Aug 15 14:11:55 PDT 2007

Reguarding samplers, there are two books I love.  They are nearly useless
from the SCA period standpoint, but if you are interested in doing
research into the history of samplers in general, these are good place to

Historic Samplers: Selected from Museums and Historic Homes - With 30
cross-stitch charts for authentic reproduction by Patricia Ryan and Allen
Bragdon.  1992.

This book recreates American Samplers from 1732 forward.  The first one
even includes words "samplar.made.in.the.24.year.of.my.age.1732"  The
pictures are all of the recreated samplers, not the originals, but, my,
the books is pretty.  And gives great detail on the original samplers as

Samplers(Fitzwilliam Museum Handbooks).  Carol Humphrey, Photography by
Andrew Morris.  Cambridge University Press. 1997.

One sampler from sca period - a Mamluk sampler such as would have been
used by a merchant to have customers choose their trim.  The next 18
samplers are from the 1600s.  There are 64 samplers in all.  I see letters
on one from 1656.  And one from 1675 has a name "loyce Leedes" and date "8
June 1675" sewn in it.

Ever a Servant,

Prudence the Curious

> Actually, from what I recall about the Colonial period in America, the
> samplers WERE in fact for learning letters and many were done by girls
> ages 5 to 12.  I just assumed (perhaps erroneously) in my earlier email
> that most samplers are dated after the Medieval period because more of
> the common people did not attempt to learn their letters, but I expect
> that among the upper classes that is exactly what they were used for.  I
> just don't have the research done to know when this practiced started or
> the history of samplers in general.
> Cristiana aka Liz

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