Wednesday 21 April 2010

Sotheby's Samplers * 28 April * London

There are some stunning items for sale at Sotheby's on 28 April belonging to the collection of the late Francis Egerton and Peter Maitland which include a number of samplers and stitched panels. Just click here to explore. I am particularly intrigued by this panel, the like of which I have not seen before. Like the Comedia Del'Arte waiting in the wings, it is alive with curious cast of courtly 18th century ladies, mustachioed men - and is that a Peer's bonnet and collar I spy?

The panel is stitched in two directions and has to be turned about to be fully appreciated, only on the middle ground does there appear to be a group of stitch trials that can properly be called a sampler.

This gentleman looks quite the master of the piece, though I am having difficulty deciphering what exactly he holds in his hand  - a bird?

There is so much detail to be appreciated in this woman's costume: the stomacher, lace tippets and sleeve flounces, patterned apron and shoe tips. The portrait is quite real.

And this man, who is he in the cast of characters with his flower-sprigged hat, exiting stage left?


  1. I believe the gentleman is holding a plume-topped helmet in his hand.

    This is one of the most unusual pieces of period stitching I've seen. I especially like the ghostly gallery at lower left. The faces are individual enough to make me think that they represent people the stitcher encountered. Thanks for the post! -k.

  2. Thank you for your help - yes, I can see than now. How interesting!