- Paperback: 144 pages
- Publisher: V & A Publishing (28 Jun. 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1851772901
- ISBN-13: 978-1851772902
- Product Dimensions: 25.4 x 1.3 x 30.5 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 591,536 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Samplers from the Victoria and Albert Museum Paperback – 28 Jun 2002
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About the Author
Clare Browne is a curator at the V&A and the author of Lace and a contributor to Quilts 1700-2010. Jennifer Wearden is the author of Ottoman Embroidery and the forthcoming Iranian Textiles with Patricia L. Baker.
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Top Customer Reviews
Don't get me wrong; the samplers illustrated are fabulous, and go far beyond the usual British and, perhaps, American examples we're used to seeing. Here are Egyptian samplers of the late Middle Ages, elaborate Spanish ones, exquisite Danish draw-thread embroidery samplers - enough to make the most hardened soul positively dribble. But there isn't nearly enough context or explanation. Five pages of introduction, well enough written but just a general history. The plates which follow, although very well photographed, appear in limbo. Even if one has the patience to flick to and from from the "list of plates" at the beginning (how irritating and, in this day and age, how unnecessary), they tell you precious little about the textiles shown. What the reader wants is a full description, social context, back story (a la the excellent and inexpensive Samplers (The Shire book) Pamela Clabburn) printed on the same page as each sampler. With modern printing this should be automatic and far from prohibitively expensive.
A far better book, with all the information which this one so sadly lacks, but without the modest selection of embroidery diagrams, is ...Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I came across the Jane Bostocke sampler and almost cried. (ok, I admit it: I cried.) To be holding something so beautiful and historic--it just blew my mind. It is the oldest stitch-signed and -dated sampler in the English language. I love it that her name is Jane (or "Iane" on the sampler) and that the sampler is dated 1598. I was born in 1958. Not only the earliest, it's the only such sampler from the 16th century: Tudor times. (Which I also love to study...I adore it that Elizabeth I took the throne exactly 400 before I was born in 1558.)
The samplers are well-displayed in the slightly oversize book; many cover one entire page. Often, there is the sampler and then a close-up detail on the same page. For example, Plate 23 is an English mid-1600's white work band sampler which is identified as silk thread on linen. At 38 by 6 1/2 inches, it's a standard shaped long, elegant sampler. Without the closeup of one of the bands, you wouldn't be able to see that the maker wove the alphabet into her drawn work. The detail is stunning.
There is only a 5-page introduction to the collection, then a 13-page listing of the details of each Plate. Then on over 102 pages the 100 plates are shown in crisp clear color. It's kind of sweet: after the Plates comes an 8-page Glossary showing about two dozen stitches that are included in the samplers (every sampler has every stitch identified). These are usable stitch diagrams but I think a stitcher would be foolhardy to think she could learn to stitch from this. The samplers are too intimidating!
Jennifer Wearden and Clare Browne are assistant curators of the Textiles Department at the V&A--at least as of the date of this book. Both have written other expert books.
The importance of the Victoria & Albert Museum cannot be overstated. With over 1,000,000 items, it is has the biggest collection of decorative arts in the world. Crazy beautiful. As someone who loves samplers, this is one of my favorite books to browse. And I have about 1,000 needlework books, maybe 100 on samplers.
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