Elisabeth Asplin

English Samplers

Elisabeth Asplin, age 10

c.1650

Cambridge

Description:

Long, narrow band samplers done in the seventeenth and early eighteenth century are always a treat because of the variety of patterns and the details. Of particular note on this piece is the fact that Elisabeth was only ten when she made her sampler. Note the evenness of both her tension and the execution of her stitching. It is really remarkable. Elisabeth appears to have made her sampler from the middle out towards both ends lengthwise. Several of the patterns are upside down if the verse is used as a reference point.

Elisabeth included a variety of geometric floral bands and both popular (such as the boxers) and unusual motifs (monkeys!) The band with the black stags, dogs, birds and the monkeys is the most unique we've ever seen on a sampler from this time period. The traditional Celtic knots, roses, acorns and grapes combine to create a beautiful and complex piece. Many of the samplers of this period use detached buttonhole to fill in flowers and in many other motifs. In lieu of this, Elisabeth created a stitch that gives a similar appearance, but is less technical. She also left her boxers as outlines and in some bands her flowers almost seem unfinished. These might be indicators of a ten year old stitcher, but it is still a very impressive sampler.

Attached to the sampler was an exhibition tag that indicated it was displayed in Chiddingstone Causeway by Mrs. Kay/Day/Tay (difficult to decipher handwriting). We would love to know more details as there's no date on the tag. If this sounds familiar to any of our members, please contact us.

Size (W x H): 7 3/4 x 36 1/2 inches

Stitches: Cross, Holbein, straight, buttonhole, detached buttonhole, four-sided, tent, long-armed cross, satin

Media: Silk on linen

Genealogy:

An Elisabeth Asplin was christened 31 July 1642, the daughter of John and Agnes Asplin. She never married and died in 1686 according the church records for St. Michael's, Cambridge.

Verse:

ELISABeTh ASPLIN HATh ThIS
SAMPLeR WrOvGhT WITh SIL
ke WITh needLe And WITh VIr
GIn ThOVGhT AT TWICe fYve Y
eereS She frAMde eACh WOrke e
ACh LeTTer ThIS IS Her fIrST T

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(This sampler was added to the site on July 03, 2019)

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