The Cottage Orné Quilt

The Cottage Orné Quilt
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Sunday, 21 April 2013

Three or four late 18th century samplers

Sometimes I want to write about a subject and I am at a loss to know which of my three blogs on which to post. Well here goes - LWQ has been chosen!

Because I am working on my Sundial tribute which is dated 1795, I am particularly interested in things and happenings around that time as I find it helps to keep me motivated. These samplers were all made when MCB  - the initials on the coverlet - was making it and it's interesting to speculate that had she had the time to sew a sampler, it might have been one like these?

I saw this sampler on the Metropolitan Museum of Art website and though I find this museum's website just as irritating to negotiate as any other museum, at least when you get there they do do good pictures!

Though saying that I have had the most awful trouble trying to download one of a suitable scale! This is my fourth attempt and it isn't as good as I would like so here is the link for you to have a good look at it!  Do zoom in and examine it as it really is the most remarkable piece of needlework.  I marvel at the tiny scenes and the bows of plaited hair! It is English and made by Harriot Holt 1808 (funny spelling of first name) and the materials are quoted as silk, metal thread, paper, hair and mica on wool canvas.

It is very like this sampler that I featured on my Cottage Orne blog a while ago when it went to auction and it is now for sale again -

and this one which is in the Cooper Hewitt Museum in New York -

Lucky New York to have two of our stonkingly good samplers!

The one above  is by Mary Slatter who "ended this April the 29 1791."  The couples' faces are engravings which have been cut out and pasted in place. The windows of the house are mica couched in place. Quilled woven silk ribbon surrounds the bouquet of flowers.

Then there is this one also by Mary Slatter -

Sorry about the poor picture but this is one on the Worcester Art Museum website. Because I have seen a kit of it, brought to my attention by a comment on my blog, I had assumed that it was just a version of the other one dated 1791, but it rather looks that it was another done by a Mary Slatter a year later in 1792. This time she has omitted the house and concentrated on the figures and worked a more elaborate border!

Oh if only we knew more about these samplers!  I get so frustrated, not only because they are widely scattered without anyone recording their history, but I want to know who these girls were, where they lived and in which school they worked this design? The names Holt, Grubb and Slatter might be common in a certain part of England and it might be a clue.  If anyone out there could shed a light?


antique quilter said...

I love looking at samplers I find the details so interesting. Always think about the resemblance of some of the designs/objects you see on quilts. I often wonder if woman that made these also made quilts.

Susan Briscoe said...

The figures in Mary Slatter's samplers are so similar to the viginettes in the V & A's King George coverlet. Fascinating! There must be sites on the web where you can find out regional distributions of surnames - A few years ago I remember one, but can't find it now.

Susan Briscoe said...

Found (I think!) - here's the results for Slatter in 1881 -

- and for Grubb 1881 -

Every Stitch said...

Beautiful samplers! I feel the same as Kathie- great inspiration for quilters here too :)

Robin said...

I don't know if this would be any help but I have distant Grubb ancestors and they were Quakers.