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Sampler

1867

Textile sampler of cross stitch design known as Berlin wool work depicting an image of a man and a horse and a border of roses.  Made by Ann Hartley in 1867.

Berlin wool work is an embroidery technique in which either cross-stitch or tent stitch is applied to a canvas background. It was traditionally executed in many different colours and the densely covered canvas gave the impression of a three dimensional image. An important pastime in 19th century England Berlin wool work became incredibly popular and the hobby grew from counted thread work and imitated the tapestries of earlier times.

The first coloured pattern on lined paper was imported in 1804 and by the 1830’s these patterns were widely available along with a variety of coloured threads.

Embroidery was seen as an important part of the education of girls around the time the sampler was created and was sometimes taught to young girls before learning to write.