AEK 1751

This sampler from Amsterdam dated 1751 has incredibly beautiful colors and motifs! It is more than 250 years old and so vivid and fresh!

Almost all of the motifs that were available to design a motif sampler / Borduurlap were harmoniously assembled here. In samplers of that time, symbolic content is almost always transmitted.

The coat of arms of Amsterdam was set in the middle by the stitcher, angels hold the wreath of eternity and infinity with the initials and the so-called "Dutch maid in the Dutch garden" - symbol of freedom and the victory over the Spanish rule in the 17th century - even got a place in the top third as a counterpart to the oversized rose - the symbol of beauty and love.

Flowers and flower pots, birds, and things of personal importance (brick house, two people on small boats) and biblical scenes were well placed.

The main motif is considered to be the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve under the "tree of life" which fruit give immortality: both of them well fed, crowned, with long black hair and "dressed" with a fig leaf. This motif rarely appears on Dutch samplers! The happier I am to present this sampler. (I thank Martin Ex of "Ex Antiques" for his knowledge and experience, which he kindly shared with me.)

The importance of Christianity finds expression in the motifs of the celestial castle, the star of Bethlehem, the spies Joshua and Caleb, the pierced heart (divine love) and in the "deer in the garden”, the symbol for baptism (Bible Psalm 42: As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.).

Everything was framed with a beautiful leaf and flower border.

Most samplers from Amsterdam follow a similar structure over an extended period of time (teaching in a school?). Most Dutch samplers with motifs contain no alphabet, a so-called Letterlap or Schoollap was probably worked before.

The sampler is in the large holdings of the Hamburg Museum (inventory number 2012-4087). I thank the textile conservator Gudrun Hildebrandt for her kindness to let me look into her treasure boxes.



chart: € 22.-

Crosses: 271 x 337

Size: 38 x 48 cm


cross stitch
satin stitch