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Sampler

A sampler is an embroidered picture. In its simplest form it is, as its name suggests, an example of different stitches that the embroiderer, often a child, knows how to create, a demonstration of the extent of her embroidery skills.

The simplest samplers are composed of an alphabet and numbers in rows with sometimes a quotation from the bible, but samplers can be more pictorially complex featuring flora, fauna and people. They are quite often signed with the name and age of the embroiderer.


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English embroideries impress at US auction

05 September 2022

Massachusetts sale includes elaborate examples of early needlework from across the Atlantic

Needlework book

Guide gets to the point: needlework sample album highlight of Nottinghamshire sale

18 July 2022

Just as the title reads, this album offered by Mellors & Kirk in Nottingham contains Specimens of Needle-Work Executed in the Female Model School, Kildare-Place, Dublin.

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Chaise longue value lies in the maker

11 April 2022

Knowledgeable bidders spot a design by Owen Jones on offer in North Yorkshire

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5 Questions: Rebecca Scott of Witney Antiques

04 April 2022

Rebecca Scott runs Witney Antiques, which is one of the businesses taking part in this week’s 'Cotswolds Curated' event.

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Sisters' sampler skills on show at Mallams' auction

30 August 2021

Samplers made by siblings or generations of the same family can attract a significant commercial premium.

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British needlework looks sharp at auction

16 August 2021

Embroidered samplers and pictures in high demand stateside

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Samplers make a string of positive auctions results

17 May 2021

Estimated at just £80-150, a Queen Anne or George I period needlework sampler sold for £10,000 via thesaleroom.com at Lawrences (25% buyer’s premium) of Crewkerne.

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Samplers thread their way from orphanage to auction

17 August 2020

Estimated at just £30-50, a late 19th century sampler sold via thesaleroom.com for £1850 at Wotton Auction Rooms (18% buyer’s premium) in Gloucestershire. A clue to the appeal is the inscription 'M Mountain, 5 Orphan House, Ashley Down, Bristol, 1879'.

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Shell out for unusual furniture

30 March 2020

As a young man in the 1960s, British creative designer Anthony Redmile (b.1937) took the London interior design scene by storm. Although his work was hugely eclectic, he became best known for his quirky designs taken from the animal kingdom.

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Positive thoughts in the bleak Van Diemen’s Land

02 December 2019

This rare sampler, just 6in (15cm) across, was completed by a girl from the Queens Orphan School in Van Diemen’s Land (the island of Tasmania) in 1838.

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A superb selection of sentimental samplers

25 March 2019

Among the most desirable of all needlework samplers are those associated with pupils at the Ackworth School, founded as a co-educational boarding school in 1779 by the Quaker physician John Fothergill and still thriving today.

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Pick of the Week: Sampler soars to £14,000 result

29 October 2018

Among the most desirable of all needlework samplers are those associated with pupils of the orphanages, asylums and charity schools of the Georgian and Victorian eras.

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Sampler goes back to school

15 January 2018

Work from 1880 returns to where it was made after it was offered at nearby antiques fair...

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A £2200 token of love – Cumbrian medallion sampler surfaces in Cheltenham

18 July 2014

Among the most desirable of all needlework samplers are those associated with pupils at the Ackworth School, founded as a co-educational boarding school in 1779 by the Quaker physician John Fothergill and still thriving today.

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Dealer at Carmarthen fair sees sampler go back home

08 May 2007

What’s in name? Everything as far as John Miles of Swansea is concerned. For years now, he has been researching his family tree and, in that time, learnt of a unique heirloom that has been lost for about 80 years.

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An Ackworth School lesson for Tennants

12 April 2006

Whether it was the result of quiet, pious reflection, plentiful practice, or simply the bonds between close friends, the samplers produced by the girls of Ackworth School in West Yorkshire developed a distinct individual style.

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Three specialists make their points

14 October 2004

THREE leading international dealers in antique needlework are getting together in New York later this month for a special selling exhibition – The Admirable Art of the Needle: Samplers & Embroideries 1650-1850.

Sorority key to surge in sampler bids

05 May 2004

As in other markets, that of samplers has its peculiarities. While condition and craftsmanship – or rather craftsgirlship – are important they are not always paramount.

Sisterly seamstress sentiments help to sell samplers

16 March 2004

IN addition to technical excellence, decorative appeal and early date, sentiment is an important player in the sampler market.

Samplers sew up major interest at needlework specialist sale

30 January 2002

THE Midlands branch of Bonhams is the clearing house for all sewing pieces offered to the empire’s rooms and showed its worth at this specialist sale on 13 December.