ACL 1790 Danish Sampler
An historical design from The Scarlet Letter Sampler Collection.
A Danish sampler from 1790.
In Scandinavia, as in England and America, sampler patterns (called navneklude meaning, literally, "name cloths") were passed along from teacher to pupil, mother to daughter, generation to generation. The designs were used to mark ownership of domestic textiles, as well as to embellish clothing and household textiles. Popular themes included biblical stories depicted symbolically. This sampler demonstrates many examples of these religious symbols. Traditionally, the alphabet was embroidered across the top of the sampler, often followed by Adam and Eve, the serpent, and the Tree of Life, filled with apples; the heart (symbolizing love); the Lamb of God; the "Pelican in her Piety" (central on this sampler), and the Crucifixion. The appearance of the camel on ACL's sampler is a bit puzzling, however quite amusing.
The monogram and date are often enclosed in an elaborate wreath on Scandinavian, and northern European samplers. According to Edith Nielsen, in Scandinavian Embroidery Past and Present (Scribner, New York, 1978), "If the sampler was embroidered by an unmarried girl, her birthdate was included. Quite often when a sampler or other monogrammed item was passed on, a new monogram was added bearing the initials of the new owner. If the former owner was deceased, occasionally a black mourning border was embroidered around that person's monogram. Also, if there was enough space on the sampler, the new owner might add additional symbols." We could assume that "ACL" was born November 30, 1790, or else this could have been made as a gift, perhaps to celebrate a family marriage in 1790.
Stitches used in the sampler are cross (over one and two threads of linen), eyelet, Algerian eyelet, four-sided, and counted satin. Like the original, on 30 count linen the finished sampler will measure approximately 12-1/2"x14-1/4".
ORIGIN AND DATE: Danish 1790
LINEN COUNT, FINISHED SIZE: 30 Count, 12-1/2"x14-1/4". Kit contains fabric, silk or cotton thread, needle and instructions.
Scroll down to view close up pictures of sections of this piece.