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Unfinished Band Sampler by Unknown Maker

ca. 1750
Origin: Germany
OH: 28 1/8" x OW: 10 1/4"
Silk embroidery threads on a linen ground of 32 x 35 threads per inch (fiber identification by microscope)
Gift of Anonymous Donors
Acc. No. 1971-1476
This is an unfinished band sampler consisting of polychrome silk threads on a white linen ground. The top features a series of decorative bands, with four alphabets of different fonts and sizes underneath. The letters are typically German (which share similarities with Dutch and Scottish embroidered letters), with scrolls surrounding each letter.

Below this are bands with a variety of motifs: the first band features a flowering urn, paschal lamb with flag, and flower. The next band has "INRIO (probably above where a depiction of a crucifix would have been), either a water pump or a wine goblet with a banner coming out of it, a flagon, a ladder (which often accompanies a depiction of the crucifix), a house, an hour glass, a bird on a tall structure, and a church with a cross on top of it. The next band features a potted fruit tree and an apple tree with a serpent entwined around the trunk, where Adam and Eve would have been stitched. The next band, which is narrow, shows an incomplete vine with pomegranates. The next pictorial band shows a shepherd and shepherdess flanking a pear tree with two sheep, one of which is incomplete. The bottom border is composed of a rose vine.

The bottom and sides are hem stitched. The top is a selvedge.

Stitches: cross over two
Label:Mid-eighteenth-century German samplers like this one were often organized in bands, similar in shape and arrangement to seventeenth-century English samplers. This sampler, by an unknown maker, is incomplete. Bands of flowers are left unfinished and the linen ground is peppered with blank space. A tree with a snake lacks a stitched Adam and Eve, a pair of four legs lacks a sheep's body, and a ladder and inscription that says, "INRIO" lacks Christ on a crucifix. Despite the missing pieces, it is possible to identify this sampler as German. The elaborately-scrolling letters, Lamb of God, incomplete crucifix scene, and shepherd couple are all common motifs on samplers made in Germany in the eighteenth century.
Provenance:Mr. & Mrs. Roy Everett Tomlinson
Mark(s):"INRIO," four alphabets
Inscription(s):None