Ann Medd

This is a most unusual sampler, without precedent, ambitious almost beyond comprehension, the Mother of all Samplers according to some overwhelmed admirers who have seen it in person. It is in effect, four separate samplers in one package: the upper third with the alphabets and a scene of Adam and Eve under the Tree of Life, titled Paradise Lost: the middle third a whimsy of vigorously blooming stylized flower-trees and a very fashionably attired couple with their pet dog, squirrel, and a deer: the lower third an enigmatic amalgam of myth and bucolic idealism; the borders complete the tablets of moralistic verse, each verse beginning with a consecutive letter of the alphabet, A through Z. The symmetry, balanced design, well chosen color, and sheer endurance of the maker, Ann Medd, are astonishing. The lower scene is most nontraditional and curious. A fisherman is engaged hooking a large fish from a meandering stream, while a shepherdess/mermaid (she holds a sheep crook in one hand, the mermaid's traditional mirror in the other, while her tail floats off into the background) tends her flock of sheep, all under the sun, moon and starts shining above simultaneously.

Origin and date: England, 1742
Rated: Advanced
Linen count and finished size: 35 count, 44"x18
Stitches: Cross, tent, back, counted satin, eyelet, four-sided
Source: Witney Antiques

Kit with cotton floss: $159.00
Kit with silk floss: $247.00
Graph only: $35.00