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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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SAMPLERS AS ART

SAMPLERS ORIGINALLY WERE DONE BY YOUNG GIRLS AGED 6-16, WHO WERE
LEARNING GENERAL NEEDLEWORK. THE SAMPLER WAS A SAMPLE OF THEIR
WORK AND WAS DONE AND DESIGNED AS THEY PROGRESSED. MOST OF THESE
TYPES OF SAMPLERS, DATED FROM 1500 THROUGH 1800, HAVE THE ALPHABET
BECAUSE THEY WERE LEARNING TO READ AT THE SAME TIME. SKILL WITH
THE NEEDLE WAS MORE HIGHLY PRIZED THAN LITERACY AMONG WOMEN. SOME
OF THE TYPICAL SAMPLERS HAD THIS VERSE ON THEM:
"WHEN I WAS YOUNG AND IN MY PRIME,
THIS IS HOW I SPENT MY TIME."

Submitter comment: THE PERSON'S NAME AND DATES WERE PUT UNDER IT. AS A HOBBY, I HAVE
COPIED SOME SUCH SAMPLERS, AS THEY WOULD HAVE DONE THEM, BY THE
THREAD-COUNT OF THE LINEN AS THEY WORKED, NOT BY A PRE-DRAWN
DESIGN. I SELL MY COPIES AND TEACH OTHERS HOW TO DESIGN SAMPLERS
AND TRANSFER PATTERNS.

Where learned: SOUTH CAROLINA ; EDGEFIELD

Subject headings: ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- M327 M327.4

Date learned: DATE NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR

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