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[AC] Mead Art Museum at Amherst College; [HC] Hampshire College Art Gallery;
[HD] Historic Deerfield; [MH] Mount Holyoke College Art Museum; [MH SK] The Joseph Allen Skinner Museum at Mount Holyoke College; [SC] Smith College Museum of Art; [UM] University Museum of Contemporary Art at UMASS Amherst


Maker(s):Griffin, Mary
Date Made:1724
Materials:textile: silk, linen; wood, paint, glass
Place Made:United Kingdom; England
Measurements:framed: 18 3/8 x 9 1/4 in.; 46.6725 x 23.495 cm
Accession Number:  HD 2798

Needlework sampler done in silk embroidery on a plain linen ground, which is inscribed, "Mary Griffin / Her Sampler A/ pril The TeNT / H / 1724." Bands of stylized floral patterns reminscent of Hispano-Moresque woven textiles from the late middle ages, such as seen on this sampler, continued to appears over the centuries in these school-girl exercises. Although this form of "band" sampler was rather old-fashioned by the 1720s, Mary's teacher may have been elderly and was using a form with which she was familiar. The use of multi-colored letters can be explained by the fact that one "length" of thread was placed in the needle, and when it was used up, another color was taken up. The idea of "matching" and symmetry was not an important factor at this time although an occasional bright red or yellow letter in the midst of subdued colors (now partially faded over time) is disturbing to our modern sensibilities. The red-painted frame made by Ed Gritz, HDI Maintenance staff, in 1967.

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