Sampler

1800 (made)

Richards, Mary Ann

Height: 48.3 cm, Width: 32.4 cm

T.96-1939 T&F

Wool sampler by Mary Ann Richards, embroidered with silk; English; dated 1800.

Rectangular sampler of wool embroidered with silk in cross-stitch. The illustrations include a central inscription of a verse and the author's details, surrounded by a border of snaking laurel, on top of which are two birds of paradise, and with a rural scene of fields and farmhouses either side. Beneath this is a red house with fence and trees, further down a selection of flowers. The whole sampler is bordered with scrolling foliage.

The earliest samplers were reference works for embroiderers. They showed 'samples' of patterns and stitches and recorded how to achieve particular effects. In Europe in the 17th century samplers provided instruction and practice for girls learning needlework. This sampler and its pair (Museum no.T.97-1939) were made by two English sisters. They used their imagination to make creative examples that are full of personality at a time when many samplers were simply standard undemanding exercises.

Given by Lady Mary St John Hope

Location: In Storage

View this object on the V&A website