A Mid Seventeenth Century Band Sampler Signed “SB” circa 1650

This band sampler stitched with silk on linen is in superb condition, and demonstrates many of the motifs popular on samplers of this period. It appears never to have been framed or folded, and retains very good color on the front, and excellent color on the back. It has been mounted between two sheets of conservation glass so that both the front and the reversibly stitched back are visible. Stitches used are satin, double running, back, cross, and cutwork.

This sampler was clearly used as an exercise to practice and record patterns for later use on household textiles including clothing embellishments. Its amazing state of preservation is due to the fact that it was never framed and was probably kept rolled in tissue or muslin, away from the light, at first in a work basket, and then later perhaps in a drawer or a trunk away from the tannins in the wood of the furniture, which would have caused staining and possibly even holes.

This amazing piece of spectacularly preserved seventeenth century needlework measure 6″ x 35-1/2″, a perfect loom’s width.