A large and very colorful Needlework Sampler, cross stitch and crewel on SILK, by Hannah Bleak, dated March 30, 1816 (1816 in Roman Numerals!). Hannah was 13 when she stitched this piece (note in the signature block she spells it “peice”) in England, and it features flowers, including a large urn, 2 birds, and meandering flowering vines. There is also a pious verse.
Hannah’s sampler measures 18” x 16 ¼” and is framed in a heavy, period frame that measures 24” x 22 ½”. The sampler is incredibly well preserved: the colors are bright and crisp, the silk backing clean and without rips, tears, holes (only some minor wrinkling across the center and along the top), and the only “stain” is a small light tan spot along the top border (on the right). All the stitch-work is complete. Note that she must have hand-printed the letters in the verse before stitching, erased (somehow) the first several letters of the first word to tighten-up the margin and then ran out of room on the right side and to finish the last word of the first line (“face”). One of only a small handful of samplers using Roman numerals for dates that I have seen. And doing cross stitch on silk is not for the faint of heart!!
Hannah Bleak’s Needlework on Silk Sampler 1816