Margaret Randolph

Margaret Randolph
Margaret Randolph stitched by Jenny


Saturday, 6 July 2013

Lucy update

Two weeks of rain in the Midwest = more time with Lucy.  Just a bit left to do on the alphabet section and then I can start the pretty pink house band.  I love the way linen feels when it has the weight of embroidery on it.  :)

While watching Joy Jarrett's informative video on historic samplers (shared by Barbara and Nicola), in particular the bit about the 1702 'strawberry pickers' band sampler, I was reminded of something I read in Anne Sebba's book Samplers: Five Centuries of a Gentle Craft (1979) where the author has this to say:
 "Many band samplers had one line reserved for two or three small male figures walking sideways, sometimes glancing over their shoulders, and carrying in one hand a small, unrecognizable object which could look like an acorn, a flower spray, or be heart-shape...occasionally clothed with the costume of the day which might include a tail coat and a long wig.  These little figures have been the subject of much recent scholarship and have been given the name 'boxers' because of their pose with one leg forward and one arm up.  It is clear, however, that the boxers derive from a motif that was frequently seen in continental Europe throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries - that of two lovers exchanging gifts.  In English samplers the female lover has clearly been transformed into a bush, or a tree, or just an unrecognizable shape with splay feet and possibly sprouting acorns.  But usually a head, body, arms and legs are dimly recognizable and the lover offers his sprig of foliage - the love trophy- to his being."
Like some of you, I found the strawberry figures and interspersed trees in Joy's sampler to be very charming.  I have no idea if the band in her sampler is actually in the 'boxer' tradition, but found the design similarities (to those described above) to be curious and thought you might too.  Below is the illustration from Anne Sebba's book depicting a 1706 'boxer' band.  

 I look forward to your next posts! 


Nicola said...

Thank you for such an interesting and informative post. I enjoy learning especially about samplers and needlework.

Your stitching is beautiful, I am afraid I struggle on dark linen but oh how I wish I could stitch on such when I see your work.

Bethany said...

I already have mom's Lucy in my collection, you are going to love this sampler.

Thank you for your post, I love the boxers, I think this is one of the reason's I chose to do Mary Hurst. Of course the Lady's in their royal gown's was also another great reason.

Krista said...

Beautiful progress on Lucy! Love it on the dark fabric, the colors really pop! I find it difficult to see the dark linen but it gives such a wonderful look.

MJ Hunt said...

Thanks for sharing! I loved the colors of Lucy and stitched mine on a dk green linen. Beautiful stitching.

Gwen said...

Your stitching just pops on the dark linen.

Cindy L said...

Pamela, your sampler is stunning on that dark fabric. Thanks for sharing.

Pamela said...

This is my first use of dark linen and I wasn't prepared for how much harder (and slower) it is to work on. I like to stitch in natural light, but with this fabric I need a lamp turned at just the right angle to be able to see the weave. Even then it's a bit hard on the peepers. Thanks for the encouragement!

Lanie said...

Pamela, your "Lucy" is beautiful ... so stunning on the dark fabric!
Thank you for sharing the information on the "boxers" a big part of my enjoyment with samplers is learning the history behind them ... can't get enough!

Martha S said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Martha S said...

Lucy is coming along. I've been afraid of stitching on dark linen. I really enjoyed your comments about band sampler and the men boxer. I went and ordered Anne's book. Thanks for sharing.

Vera said...

Oh I love this! I, too, struggle with the dark fabric. Beautiful progress!!