Dimensions: Overall: 310 x 280mm
Department: Social History
Made by Penelope Foster in 1757, this sampler showcases many characteristics that are typical of eighteenth-century samplers. Whereas seventeenth-century samplers were used primarily to practise and record patterns, the eighteenth century saw a new emphasis on samplers as ornamental pieces. Samplers also became increasingly associated with moral teachings and bible verses and hymns were frequently copied.
In this piece, Penelope has chosen to embroider the ten commandments at the centre of the sampler, providing a clear point of focus for the viewer. Borders were also introduced around this time and the floral border in this example is typical of some of the most popular designs. Penelope's sampler is also a fine example of the new trend to depict houses, birds and trees in needlework, as well as the introduction of alphabets and numerals on samplers.