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In this richly colored Victorian sampler, our stitcher, Margaret, tells us that she is the “Daughter of Robert and Marge Slee.” Although it is not uncommon for a stitcher to put her parent’s monograms somewhere in a sampler, it is unusual for the child to make such a formal declaration with fully naming her parents.
Margaret put a spiritual verse in the first half of her sampler, divided from the rest of it by a scrolling decorative row of squirrels and hearts in pink and brown wool. The bottom half is filled with flowering jardinières, single flowers and stars. As part of the information she offers on her parents, she also gives her age (“Aged 12 years”) and the date she completed her work, “A.D. 1863.” She enclosed her sampler in a marvelous wide, scrolling border with large red flowers and green stems emanating from the undulating vine.
The entire sampler is stitched in soft colored wools on a linen ground. Her stitches were done in counted cross stitch in either single or double strands of yarn.
One of the most remarkable characteristics of the piece is its color retention, especially the reds, as they are as bright as they may have been over a century-and-a-half ago. The blues are very vivid as well, providing good contrast against the pinks and greens. The ground has age toned to a soft gray, rather than brown.
It is housed in a wonderful period mahogany frame. The frame is in excellent condition, with a beautiful patina and a deep, rich red-brown color. It has a narrow, gilded wood and gesso slip beneath the glass. The glass seems to be the original as it has small bubbles.
The condition of the sampler itself is excellent, with no insect damage. There is some faint brown age toning in a few areas, but it mostly is gray.
It measures 21-1/4 inches wide by 21-1/2 inches high, including the frame.
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Victorian Woolwork Sampler with Red-Flowered Border Dated 1863
$675 $595 USD SALE PENDING
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