Frances Marshall 1838
Origin and date: England, 1838
Linen count and finished size: 35 or 40 count, 15-1/2″x22″ or 13-1/2″x19-1/4″ (please specify!)
Stitches: Cross, back, stem, counted satin
Source: Private collection
What makes this early Victorian English sampler so intriguing are the wonderfully naive figures of Adam, Eve and St. Michael flanking the Tree of Life. St. Michael’s sword is drawn to slay the serpent, but he hardly looks formidable with his large feet and doughy body. Playskool-like Adam and Eve nonchalantly share an apple off to the right, ignoring the turmoil, and surrounded by a panoply of unaffected birds, dogs, squirrels, butterflies, sheep, and flowers. A meandering multi-floral border surrounds the orderly scene.