07 December 2012

Wartime sampler : Keep your hearts proud...

A counted cross stitch sampler likely to date from World War II or soon after.  The quote is from an Empire Day speech by George VI, broadcast in May 1940.  In the speech he refers to "our fighting men and those who love them; mothers, wives and sweethearts at home".  It's interesting to see on this sampler that all the figures are women - caring for children, land girls, nurses, women in uniform - representing the many roles women played in wartime and for the war effort.

This is one of the few patriotic samplers to quote the monarch (use the tag quotes to find others I've done blog entries about). The quote says:
Keep you hearts proud
and your resolve unshaken,
and with God's help
We shall not fail

I wonder if this was a published design, intended to raise morale, or the work of a single needlewoman?  Counted cross stitch is more unusual at this time than transfer designs, but with wartime shortages a printed chart in a magazine or newspaper would not require postage, transfers etc.

If you know any more about this design or its source, please do leave a comment.

01 December 2012

George V & Mary : silver jubilee sampler, 1935

This silver jubilee sampler for George VI and Mary, from 1935, is similar to another silver jubilee sampler I blogged about here.  It borrows many elements, such as the coach and horses and wording layout and border, but perhaps this stitcher had a smaller piece of fabric or just wanted to make it her own version.  It measures 13 1/4 inches x 15 1/4 inches.

If you know any more about this design, please leave a comment.

14 November 2012

Charles & Diana : wedding sampler with dragon

A cross stitch sampler  with lots of detail to celebrate the wedding of Charles and Diana in 1981, measuring 11inches x 21inches.  It could have been a kit or a chart; I've seen another example on Sylvia's blog, Linens and Royals, and she's tracked it down as a Royal School of Needlework design.

If you know more about this design, such as designer, source and so forth, please leave a comment.

07 November 2012

Elizabeth II : coronation : Commonwealth emblems

A coronation sampler featuring the animal emblems of the Commonwealth.  It measures 35cm x 45cm.  This, and the details below, are example 1.

I've seen a couple of other versions of this design, shown below, including one in landscape format, rather than portrait, and thus missing the Westminster Abbey/coach detail.  Note how embroidery lets the needlewoman ring changes - blue ER on the top example, yellow or yellow/red ER on the examples below, or differences in how the elephant is embroidered.

Example 2

Example 3

Example 4, landscape format. 
It could well be that the design was published in more than one format, or this could have been the work of a needlewoman choosing to make a smaller version.

If you know any more about the source/publisher etc of this design, please do leave a comment.

01 November 2012

Elizabeth & Philip : wedding sampler

A 1947 embroidered sampler commemorating the wedding of Elizabeth and Philip.  It features a verse from Patience Strong (who also had verses on birth samplers for Anne and Charles) and various English countryside motifs in the border.  Measures approx 50cm x 33.5cm.  Likely to have been sold either as a transfer or as fabric with the design already printed on.

If you know any more about this design - eg. where it was published/offered for sale - please do leave a comment.

28 October 2012

Elizabeth II : coronation: Windsor Castle commercial tapestry

A commercially-woven tapestry to celebrate the coronation of Elizabeth II in 1953, featuring a distant view of Windsor Castle.  This example is framed under glass.  Measures about 24inches x 24inches.  As a commercially-woven rather than hand-stitched it's outside the 'collection development' parameters of this blog, but I thought I'd document it here.

If you know more about this design, please do leave a comment.

14 October 2012

Dig for Victory wartime sampler

An embroidered sampler no doubt dating from some time during World War II as it features one of the best known slogans/catchphrases of the time, Dig For Victory.  The top lettering says "Save vital shipping space" - it's an intriguing mix of the positive, bucolic and ominous.  It measures 22cm x 37cm.  Sold for nearly GBP85.00

If you know any more about this design - who designed it, how it was sold, whatever - please leave a comment to share your knowledge.

07 October 2012

Map sampler : Northumberland

A map sampler of Northumberland, measuring 12inches x 16inches.  Looking at the detail picture below, the lettering isn't the flowing script of the mid-twentieth century map samplers I've shown in earlier blog posts (you can use the tag 'map' to find them).  I'd guess it to be later twentieth century in date.

As ever, if you can add more information to this blog post, please do leave a comment.

01 October 2012

Buildings : Hampton Court - Mary Cotton's sampler

A sweet mid-twentieth century sampler featuring Hampton Court.  Done by Mary Cotton in 1950, and measuring 38cm x 44cm.  It was sold unframed.  I wonder why she chose Hampton Court?  Perhaps this design was sold there?  It looks as though it was a printed design; it includes both cross stitch and embroidery, but the cross-stitch doesn't appear to be counted cross stitch.  And it's always so nice to have a maker's name on the work.

If you know any more about this design, please do leave a comment.

28 September 2012

Edward VIII : coronation : tablecloth with flowers & coat of arms

A pretty floral-edged tablecloth made to celebrate the coronation of Edward VIII - floral emblems and the coat of arms.  I wonder what the stitcher thought when he abdicated?  She didn't undo her stitching and change the king's name; and she didn't finish it.  It was apparently found wrapped in newspaper in an older lady's home.  Measures approx 32inches square.  Probably sold as a pre-printed tablecloth with the edges already hemmed, just needing embroidery.

I wonder if there are almost-identical examples with George VI on them instead of Edward VIII?

If you know any more about the source/designer/publisher/producer of this design, please do leave a comment to add to the information available here.

21 September 2012

Elizabeth II : calendar sampler

This was listed with no indication of size, provenance or any other history.  I guess the ER to be Elizabeth rather than Edward.  From this only photograph, the design appears to be calendar style, an image for each month of the year.  It did not sell for its starting price of GBP35.00

If you know any more about this design, please leave a  comment to enlighten us all!

14 September 2012

Post-war sampler, 1947 : Freedom, Justice, Peace

An embroidered postwar patriotic sampler, dated 1947, with guardsmen and symbols of Britain including cottage, castle and church and the Union Jack, celebrating the victories of 1945 and the war's end.

The frame measures 10 1/2inches by 12 1/2inches, so this image gives you a sense of the design size.  I would guess this design to be based on a transfer.

If you know any more about this design, please do leave a comment.

07 September 2012

Elizabeth II : coronation : 40th anniversary sampler

I haven't seen many sampler designs celebrating the 40th anniversary of Elizabeth II's coronation in 1953.  This was worked in 1993 and is, unusually, embroidery rather than cross-stitch.  The vast majority of later twentieth century examples of patriotic samplers are cross-stitch.  The majority of the ones that are embroidery originated with the Royal School of Needlework, but I have no information to make this connection beyond guesswork.

This one is 15inches x 13inches, worked on Irish linen.

The quote says:

There is no magic formula that will transform sorrow into happiness, intolerance into compassion or war into peace, but inspiration can change human behaviour.
Queen Elizabeth II

The other sampler I've seen featuring her words is this one using part of her first Christmas message as Queen.  I have seen a couple of George VI samplers quoting him.  It was, after all, radio and television that made monarchs' voices heard.

As ever, if you know more than I do, which is very likely, it would be great if you'd leave a comment to add to this entry.

01 September 2012

George VI : coronation : Vera Hooper's sampler

It's more unusual to find a coronation sampler that comes with a maker's name.  The description given with this example:

Sampler made at school to celebrate the coronation of George V1 the father of our present Queen who unexpectedly succeeded to the throne on the abdication of Edward V111. The emblems embroidered represented the British Empire at that time.
Size 15x10 ins

I wonder where the school/teacher found the design, and how many pupils completed it.  The blue background is less common than a pale one.  The lettering could have been altered from ER to GR, Edward to George, as was done with other designs.  There are other designs for both George VI and Elizabeth II that feature the animals representing Empire/Commonwealth nations.

If you know any more about this design, please do leave a comment.

28 August 2012

George VI : coronation: sampler with roses, coat of arms & buildings

A delicately stitched embroidery/cross stitch celebrating the coronation of George VI. 

Unlike some of the 1937 samplers, where Edward became George, I've not seen any Edward examples of this one; perhaps it was designed after the abdication.  My guess would be that it was based on a transfer.  It's a delicate-looking design, in every example I've seen: mostly embroidery with a little cross-stitch (but it looks embroidered, not counted thread work - eg. the red crown in the coat of arms).  The framed size of this example is 13inches x 15.5inches: it sold for just over GBP42.

Design-wise, it has interesting connections to two other types of designs shown in other blog posts here.  The buildings are reminiscent of the impressionistic sketch buildings embroideries such as the Windsor Castle one in the previous blog (use the tag buildings to find more).  The lettering of the bordered inscription is like that used in the map samplers (such as the county map samplers) in other blog entries here (use the tag maps to find more).

If you know any more about this design, please do leave a comment.

21 August 2012

Buildings : Windsor Castle

Another early to mid twentieth century sepia embroidery of a building with royal associations, this time Windsor Castle.  It's in the same impressionistic/sketch style as others I've seen.  Size:  17 x 12¾in (43 x 32.5cm) high x width.

I've seen enough of these, with enough different subjects but stitched in the same style, to think it most likely that they were sold as transfers.

If you know more, please do leave a comment.

14 August 2012

Coronation portrait tapestries : Elizabeth II & Philip

This pair of portrait tapestries were apparently made to commemorate the coronation, but not finished until 1960 by a maker who only left the initials JMN on them.  The seller guessed that they might have been made for a town hall or other public building.  Unframed size: Height 41" (104cm), Width 29" (74cm).

I wonder if these were a commercial design?  They're a lot of design work to have been done by an individual, long before the time of photo-to-chart software.  The Queen's image is apparently based on the portrait on the front of the coronation programme.  The faces are stitched in petit point.

The last picture is of the back of the work, rather than Philip as vampire...!!

The seller set a starting price of GBP400.00 and a buy it now price of GBP560.00

If you know any more about these - designer, source, whatever - please leave a comment.

07 August 2012

Map sampler : Great Britain (modern)

Designed by Angela Beazley, for the Classic Embroidery range. It is stitched on 14 count cream aida fabric and contains Stranded Cotton thread, metallic thread, gold plated needles, chart, and full instructions. Finished size: 40 x 34cm (16 x 14in).  Seen on eBay from seller atlascraft for GBP39.95 plus postage but probably available elsewhere as well.  Atlascraft noted that they can also provide 28 count evenweave as an alternative to aida.
It's in a style that has been done, with variations, for years: the map plus pictures illustrating the endeavours/features/landmarks of the countries.  This one looks to have quite a lot of detail in the individual cross-stitch pictures.  Earlier versions, like the Festival of Britain map sampler and the county samplers, are embroidery rather than cross-stitch, and so can be more variable in skill than cross-stitch.

01 August 2012

Map sampler : Hampshire

A map sampler of Hampshire, with the same flowing style of wording as other map samplers previously featured on this blog.  Seems more and more likely that in the 1930s somewhere a series of these was published, likely using transfers for the designs.  This example has a maker's name, Dorothy Downer, and is dated 1935.

If you know more about this design or map series, please leave a comment to add this information.

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