ER-IT Sampler circa 1723
An historical design from the Scarlet Letter collection.
This early Scottish band/spot sampler was purchased at the auction of the contents of Fingask Castle near Perth, Scotland in April of 1993. The date on the sampler seems deceptively late for a piece so thoroughly steeped in the design and materials of the previous century; and as the date is worked in a slightly different colour and style than what is used elsewhere on the sampler it is assumed it might be a later addition.
If in fact the sampler is indigenous to Fingask Castle, its date might more realistically be estimated at circa 1680, at which time the Thriepland family resided there, having purchased the castle and lands from the Bruces in 1672. The upper section of the sampler exhibits spot motifs, more often found on samplers of the early l17th century. Hearts, stars, mazes, berries, concealed Stuart symbols, done in a wide variety of stitches characterize this section. Below that are floral and geometric pattern bands, including a row with two wonderful leering little boxers presenting flowers.
Origin and date: Scottish before 1723
Linen count and finished size: 35-count, unbleached (our exclusive weave) - 7-1/2"x35". Kit contains fabric, silk or cotton thread, needle and instructions.
Stitches: Double running, Queen, cross, some Hungarian point bargello, herringbone, fishbone, braid, pattern darning, eyelets, open Cretan, Van Dyke, rice, satin, trellis, French knot and buttonhole
Source: Collection of The Scarlet Letter