american 19th c. samplers

SAMPLERS

Sampler Definition : The word sampler dates from the 13th century. It comes from latin Exemplarium through French Essamplere which means 'an example to be followed.' This is piece of embroidery worked in various stitches to show skill, typically containing the alphabet and some mottoes.

The history of samplers in Europe extends probably from the end of the middle ages to the present time. In the early second millennium embroidery was a pastime for the nobility and samplers were rather a pattern example and teaching device. In England the earliest mention of a sampler is an entry of the account book of Elisabeth of York (1502). The earliest German sampler is of the year 1618. The earliest dated English sampler that survives could be the Jane Bostocke sampler dated 1598 (Victoria and Albert Museum London). The earliest forms of samplers in Europe were "spot samplers" and" band samplers". Band samplers are a lenght of fabric, mostly linen sometimes hemp or nettle, with bands of embroidery . The threads used for embroidery are often silk, metal or linen.