Sampler - ROM2014_14421_1



Medium:Linen tabby with silk embroidery in cross-stitch, long-arm, and Holbein stitch
Geography: Mexico
Date: 19th century
11.5 x 21 cm
Object number: 979.141.14
Credit Line: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. W.K. Newcomb
Not on view

A border of unicorns (a symbol of purity and the Virgin) surrounds crosses worked in a lattice pattern. Dense stitches surround the designs, which are formed by the cloth ground. Linen tabby with silk embroidery in cross-stitch, long-arm, and Holbein stitch. Spanish needlework techniques were widely taught in Mexican convents. Exemplars, or samplers, allowed pupils to practice their newly-acquired skills, and provided useful memoranda of stitches and designs. Few, if any, samplers survive from the early decades of colonial rule, but 18th and 19th century examples offer invaluable information about popular embroidery styles. Today, in rural Mexico where clothing is still embroidered, samplers from girlhood are kept and consulted, and play a vital role in continuing this needlework tradition.

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