Mexican Sampler by Unknown Maker
Silk embroidery threads on a linen ground of 52 x 48 threads per inch (fiber identification by microscope)
Acc. No. 1971-1487
This is a rectangular sampler worked in bright shades of red, green, yellow, pink, and brown silk embroidery threads on a fine linen ground. The sampler is hemmed on four sides. Across the top is a script upper case alphabet, "A-H Y J L" and "M-P R-V Z"; in the middle of the alphabet is a small tree with a monkey (?) in it and flanking dog or lion figures beneath. Below this, the top of the sampler is divided into sixteen squares, nine of which are worked in various drawn work patterns. The bottom two thirds of the sampler is patterned with samples of various band designs in embroidery and drawn work.
Label:The vibrant colors, densely worked bands, and drawn-worked areas seen on this embroidery are typical hallmarks of Mexican samplers. Because designs and embroidery techniques were brought to New Spain in a variety of ways, Mexican samplers were influenced by many different sources. For example, some of the decorative bands in this sampler were probably derived from much earlier German pattern books.
Provenance:Ex coll: Tomlinson and Mrs. DeWitt Clinton Cohen. Tag accompanying sampler reads "Italy." No other provenance is known.