Wednesday, 5 December 2012

From just over the Border!

I realise that sampler research isn't for everyone, just a few of us anoraks, but my intention is to record what I know about Welsh samplers so that anyone interested can learn about them with me.  No book can really compete with the Internet as a resource, because a book is restricted by the pictures that can be used, which also have to be of high quality.  The Internet allows pictures of all quality to used freely. 

So I was very excited when I found this sampler on Pinterest recently - let me try and explain its significance.

Note all the plants in line with the house and the two figures. These are favourites!

At first glance it's rather nondescript but it really made me sit up and take notice.  It was made in Dawley which is in Shropshire just on the border with England in 1745, but it contains motifs that were used regularly on Welsh samplers more than a hundred years later

I have always said that the motifs on Welsh samplers weren't Welsh but that it's their repetitive use on so many samplers in Wales that indicates Welshness. Here is some proof!

This little lady will appear again on this blog and the rosebud tree.
The shepherd with crook will also appear again and also the bluebell tree.

 This English sampler, albeit from a place very close to Wales, contains sampler motifs, mostly likely taken originally from a pattern book, these then spread across the border into Wales and were constantly repeated until they became endemic.


  1. i love this sampler so much..
    lots of love cucki x

  2. Hi, Mary, I love reading your blog about Welsh samplers, I just wish you would reproduce one to stitch... What is the motif in the 6th picture that looks like an ice cream cone? It is to the lower right of the verse.

    Nice to meet you,
    Melinda in Ohio, USA

  3. Hi Melinda - I think the motif is a Conche shell which is found on a lot of British samplers.

    Regarding reproduction, I will photograph some of the ones I have made and post them here. If there is interest I will think about producing a chart. I didn't really start this blog with that intention though but I want to make Welsh samplers more high profile so it might help?