Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Markers for Scottish Samplers

It always seems perverse that the strongest markers for a sampler worked in Scotland are the alphabets ornamented with running stitch curlicues which in fact appear to have their origins in Frisian and North German alphabet designs. Other markers we can detect on this Scottish sampler in the Goodhart Collection are the peacock on the bottom row left, and over on the bottom row right is a rather strange vase of assorted blooms which appears on many Scottish samplers also. (A chart for this sampler can be found inside the jacket of The Goodhart Samplers.) There is also a predilection amongst Scots stitchers for portraying houses. It may be an adaptation to northern dark, wet and windy weather systems that Scottish houses are typically low dwellings with large glazed windows and tall gables built into the roof. Sometimes castellated keeps make an appearance.

Yet another strong marker is this large arcaded floral band (some have identified the flower as a viola or pansy).

So, again it seems rather perverse that the pattern should crop up in a rare 19th century Leipzig pattern book I have, in which the design is classified as 17th century Dutch! I don't recall ever coming across this band on an early Dutch sampler or other item of stitching, but perhaps someone has. The other question to ask is: which direction did the designs go - from Scotland to The Netherlands and Germany, or from The Netherlands and Germany to Scotland? But that may be too simplistic. There are many instances of patterns travelling in one direction, being modified and reorganized by the new population and then being transported back to their place of origin - for example - Indian chintzes and Chinese porcelain.

Here is a free Infinity download of the arcaded band for your collection - just click here to download. Remember to choose the option to Save and not Open. If you don't have the software to read the Infinity charts, click here. You will be able to purchase the software for $20 which comes with the Beatrix Potter Sampler ready for you to edit and customise - and once you have the software you will also be able to download a free editable Mary Wigham sampler also. (Again, remember to choose Save and not Open when you download.)

1 comment:

  1. This is wonderful Jaqueline! I am stitching a Sharon Cohen design called Grateful Heart that has this band on it. I am going to change it around a bit, and had been procrastinating because I didn`t have graph paper (plus, I hate doing it). This will make it so easy!!! Thank you so much..