Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Mexican Samplers from Harvard

Harvard Art Museums have two lovely, colourful Mexican samplers in their collection. I am a great fan of bidirectional band samplers such as the one above, which appear to have been started from both ends, possibly owing to being worked on a rigid frame so that the arm could reach only to the middle while embroidering. The one above is rather special - it incorporates 2 bulls with horns on the left hand side and on either side of the urn at the extreme left hand side are two monkeys - difficult to read if they are spinning or not.
The sampler above has been accorded a dating of 19th century, though I suspected it may be earlier. However, I have just had en email from Sue who assures me this date is typical of type - so I stand corrected. Click here for a 6 page pdf given more information on Mexican samplers. The band designs come from early pattern books of the 16th century, though this is no guarantee that the embroidery dates to that period, only that it is sometime later. To visit these samplers on-line at Harvard, click here.

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