Gardryth 1831 small
Gardryth's small sampler is rather uncommon for a Vierlande sampler. It is narrow and long, worked on fine linen. Three very different alphabets take two thirds of the sampler, a small section remains for motifs with several versions of the tree of life.
The tree of life motif appears in various forms - a central heart flanked by animals, surrounded by birds, growing from a three-cornered underground or a pot.
In the myths of several countries the tree of life represents
- the seat of the gods,
- its fruit nourish gods, deceased kings and beatified persons and give immortality,
- the “light”, because it stands at the eastern end of the world – where the sun rises,
- good and evil; the forbidden fruit from the “tree of knowledge” result in the Fall of Man,
- the “realm of the dead“ – the “land of life” according to mythical thinking,
- the Divine Mother who is with child and revives life.
Still today we know the true acceptance of this symbol: A tree is planted for a newborn child, the oak or the lime tree set up the middle of the village – dance around the maypole, decoration of the Christmas-tree, the weeping willow, the tree of freedom.
In many cases, the tree of life comes up a vase or an urn (fountain of life), sometimes even a heart, the age-old allegory for mother earth, accompanied by birds and stags.
Many thanks to the staff members of the Bomann Museum, Celle for sending me photos and for their kind support. Another sampler of the same young girl is in the Schleswig-Holsteinisches Landesmuseum Schleswig, Schloss Gottorf (Gardryth 1831 large).
Crosses: 168 x 295
Size: 24 x 42 cm
Stitches: Cross stitch