Thursday, 30 September 2010

Far Flung Jig Saw Pieces

This sampler in Salisbury Museum which we looked at the other day excited Pam in the USA. She wrote: Hi, I know of two other election samplers that record that famous election between Benett and Astley in 1819. One is here in the states at the museum in Nebraska. It came with the son and daughter of the girl who stitched it. It is very elaborate - it has a Greek key border around it and has a thistle in the top right corner and a pot of flowers in the left top corner. The sampler is stitched on very fine cloth in shades of gold and has black lettering. The stitching is a copy of the final board sheet printed in the paper recording the election results. The other sampler is in Trowbridge England at the museum! So here we have one of those examples of a sampler which appears to be a one-off, marking a special occasion, but which turns out to be part of a group. So now we know at least 3 girls stitched this sampler. How many more could there have been? And why? What exact significance did this document have that it was copied by perhaps an entire class of girls? Again we see that samplers are precious jig-saw pieces which have been scattered to the four winds, but there is hope now of bringing them back together in the virtual world to piece together the pictures once missing.

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