Annie's Needlecraft Arts Festival!

Dec. 4-8, 2014

Kingsmill Resort
Williamsburg, Va.


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1801 Ann Spence Sampler

Instructor: Giulia Manfredini
Class Details
1801 Ann Spence Sampler

This Georgian English sampler, a part of Giulia’s private collection, was worked by Ann Spence at the age of 10 years. She dated it “December 27th, 1801.” Vibrant silk threads depict a myriad of motifs scattered throughout the sampler, including crowns, birds, peacocks, squirrels, dogs, stag, trees, flowers, vases with fruits or flower arrangements, cartouches with initials and a Tree of Life with Adam and Eve at the lower central section.

Ann stitched three main buildings surrounding a large central vase with flowers. At the middle right is a country church with a black tiled roof. At the opposite side is a two-story house with two lateral extensions each of which sports a window, in the Adam style, with a full-length roofline balustrade, large entry and eight chimneys. This building could possibly be a school in which Ann was instructed. The last building, just below the central vase, is a very simple timber or brick English farmhouse of 17th-century style, with only three small windows, a tiled roof and two chimneys. This could possibly be Ann’s house.

A strawberry border provides a gentle frame and also a division for the upper section of this sampler which includes other small borders, alphabets, numbers, initials with little hearts and two lovely phrases: “May virtue guide my unexperienced youth and lead my footsteps in the paths of truth” and a wedding ring motto “Let not absence banish love,” which was also mentioned in The Darien papers: being a selection of original letters and official documents relating to the establishment of a colony at Darien by the company of Scotland trading to Africa and the Indies. 1695-1700.

Our reproduction is worked on Weeks Dye Works 36 ct Parchment linen using The Thread Gatherer hand-dyed silk threads. The stitches used include cross, satin and pulled eyelet stitches. Stitching instruction as well as information about the sampler motifs and symbolisms will be included.

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