This attractive black sampler was stitched in the Netherlands. It belongs to Mrs. Ingrid Schleicher. She owns a needlework shop in the city of Ingolstadt, she collects antique samplers and she is enthusiastic about embroidering. She gave me her hand-made counted chart recently, so I can present this harmoniously arranged reproduction sampler now. She has really done some excellent work in advance. Thank you very much.
GR’s work from 1810 is a vivid example of this special kind of samplers originated in the Eastern Groningen area in Holland. The five villages of Winschoten, Reiderland, Bellingwedde, Vlagwedde and Veendam belong to
this region on the Dollart.
Mrs. Hennie Stevan-Bathoorn took a close look at approximately twenty of these “Black Embroidered Samplers from Groningen, Holland” and she describes the economical, political and educational conditions there at that time and the influence of German seasonal workers, teachers, salesmen, sailors and relationships.
We do not know whether GR stitched her sampler at a private institute like the so-called “French School” or at a boarding school in Groningen. She might have been between 13 and 17 years old like most needleworkers in this region near the northeast German border.
These Dutch samplers have a lot of things in common:
- They are rather large, usually between 50 and 70 cm side length. They hung framed in a black frame above the door in the parlour of the farm.
- They were all stitched with black silk on linen.
- They have a symmetrical design with a longitudinal centre.
- They show a name or initials and a date.
- There is no alphabet, because they had already worked their first alphabet sampler before the age of 10.
The range of motifs is limited:
- large flower baskets or trees of life,
- carnations (According to Christian legend, the Virgin Mary shed tears at Jesus' plight, and carnations sprang up from where her tears fell.),
- tulips (According to Persian legend, the first tulips sprang up from the drops of blood shed by an unfortunate lover.),
- the grape vine (It serves as a symbol of blessing and fertility.),
- the cock (Symbol of Christ who compared himself to a mother hen, when talking about Jerusalem.),
and the dove (The white dove is also a symbol of simplicity, purity, and, especially in Christian art, the Holy Spirit.).
Crosses: 357 x 283
Size: 50,5 x 40 cm
Stitches: Cross stitch