Continental Samplers

Samplers of northern Europe are often less symmetrical than their English and American counterparts. The emphasis is more on symbolic representations or pattern records than stitch variety or pictorial formula. Religious symbols are found on almost all continental samplers, and Adam and Eve in particular is the principal motif on samplers from Protestant Northern Germany. Other frequently used motifs on this body of samplers include the Spies of Canaan carrying their cluster of grapes, the wreath carried by two crowned angels, the Free Maiden, Dutch lion, spinning monkey, Lamb of God, ships, anchors, carnations, roosters, birds and hearts, and stags, all having religious symbolic meanings. In general, cross stitch is the primary stitch used in the creation of these samplers.