It is sometimes perplexing for us today to read that samplers were stitched in asylums. The word asylum was associated in the 20th century with those institutions caring for sufferers of mental illness. Presumably with the advent of national education and the reorganization of orphanages into Children's Homes, the word asylum applying as it once did to orphanages fell out of use. This catalogue documents 42 works stitched at orphanages or asylums.
So, as you can see above and below, the catalogue documents items of use, such as decorative pockets, in addition to samplers.
The punishment bands seen below on the right hand side of the image were made to be worn around the foreheads of children deemed guilty of misdemeanour. Christ's Hospital School in Horsham still has some in their needlework collection.
But perhaps the most famous orphanage samplers are those distinctive red and white ones stitched by the girls of the Bristol Orphanage at Ashley Down.
The catalogue is in mint condition.
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