Rachel Jarratt circa 1760
Origin and date: England, circa 1760
Linen count and finished size: 35 count, 6-1/2″x30″
Stitches: Cross, counted satin, stem, detached buttonhole, double running, fishbone, queen, bullion knots, Florentine
Source: Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, England
Skill and expertise in sampler-making did not necessarily peak in the mid-to-late 17th century and then wane, during what is commonly called the Golden Age of English sampler-making. These skills survived and reemerge in samplers even today. This reproduction is a perfect example of that. It was a reproduction (of sorts) when it was first created. At a glance, it appears to be of the 17th century. On closer inspection, though, one can detect some elements of later design. The floral, geometric pattern bands are not as intensely stitched, are a bit broader and bolder and more open. It is a bit too studied and balanced (earlier band samplers were not necessarily intended for display, hence, the patterns were not always symmetrical). We believe that this sampler was meant to be framed. In fact, it was made in the 1760’s, perhaps under the tutelage of a teacher who researched early samplers.
At the center is a variation on Adam and Eve, only instead of those familiar figures we have two boxers in their usual pugnacious stance. Another interesting variation on a theme here is the geometric area toward the bottom- a traditional whitework pattern, only here it is worked with pink!
The graph is printed in full color which makes it much easier to determine color placement in satin stitched areas.