Sunday, 19 April 2009

Sampler Motifs - The Mermaid

Mermaids figure frequently on early samplers. Some say that with their mirror and comb they symbolize vanity. Others would say that in the early 17th century, during the discovery and expansion of maritime trading routes (and until very recently), mermaids were believed to exist and were as exotic as camels, giraffes and elephants which also appear on early needlework. As you can see, mermaids are not confined to stitched works, this mermaid is part of an elaborate plaster ceiling made in 1667, and decorated a house in the West Riding of Yorkshire. It can now be seen in the Bankfield Museum, Halifax.


  1. Thank you for your blog! I love all the information and history on stitching! I wish I was able to come and see some of the exhibits you talk about...

  2. I am really pleased you like the blog - I know there are many people who can't get to see all the exhibitions, so I hope to give you a taste. I shall have a description of the exhibition for you to download soon. I am working away from home with a dial-up line and I can't get my big files up for you to download at present - I hope you can be patient with me for a little longer.
    Kindest regards, Jacqueline