Sometimes it takes an outsider to see what is going on. American Joanne Lukacher was this person. When she saw a particular 1772 Dutch sampler she had an idea. She contacted me about the imagery, symbolism and historical- and social context of this sampler and others in the extended group of Middelburg samplers. Images of Flora, yes maybe? No, it is a fox, not a wolf! How little did I know. Than Joanne came with the great story about Nehallenia and the wolf-dog, and...well, just read the article as published in the American magazine Sampler & Antique Needlework Quartely, summer 2014. It has it all!
See the end of this post to view larger images of the Magdalena Lorsbach and Catharina Leunissen samplers.
Larger images of the key samplers of this article: Catharina Leunissen 1777 and Magdalena Lorsbach 1772.
Catharina Adriana Leunissen 1777 (Museum Lakenhal, Leiden)
Magdalena Lorsbach 1772 (Vassar College, Poughkeepsie NY, USA)
" An era ended. The German Sampler Museum is now a thing of the past"
This is how Lorraine Mootz, long time associate of the museum, put it. For decades, together with owners Mrs Elfi Connemann and her late husband Hans-Joachim she has been the beating heart of German sampler world. Their little sampler paradise in Celle could not be rescued from closing down. The damage is done, the museum building might be empty but hopefuly it will not leave a not to restore void.
The unique and high quality collection went to the Bomann museum in Celle. These new caretakers would make the right decision to put the collection online and of course organise expositions in the future.
The collection had many highlights, and the sampler of Keneke Bobers made in 1620(!) was certainly one of them. When you entered the museum, it was the first sampler you would see.
For this special occasion two samplers were (on photo) reunited: Keneke's counterpart in London, the important sampler made by Lucke Boten in 1618 side by side with Keneke Bobers sampler. These two girls are the founders of North European sampler making and would deserve appropriate research. Keneke, Lucke too and all the other girls like to thank the Stickmustertuch Museum for not forgetting about them.
For now, it's goodbye and auf wiedersehen!
There is a third sampler in this very select group. This one was only initialed BIB, (again a 'B' on the end, three sisters?) and dated 1627. Colors are the same though as above.
Here is a small addition that was just to hard to resist not to show to you. It concerns a further Deventer darning sampler this time however with a portrait of the maker. The picture is of Adriana Maria Lamberts, one of the ' nieces' of the previous blog. She married to Martinus van Doornick in 1805. Some time later, he became the mayor of the city of Deventer.
The painting was made by the C.H.Hodges, a well known portraitist, circa 1805. Collection unknown.
About six years earlier than this portrait, Adriana finished her darning sampler. Including a oversized cartouche.
It might be that you know the city of Deventer more of its honey cake or carpets than of its samplers. Deventer is located along the east bank of the river the Yssel, in the province of Overyssel.
Being relatively far away from the traditional sampler producing provinces of Holland, Zeeland, Groningen en Friesland, Deventer had a rather impressive sampler making tradition which lasted from about 1760 to 1860. Probably there are earlier samplers than this, but so far we simply do not recognize them as such.
The Deventer Museum has a unique collection of 18 samplers all made by girls coming from one Deventer family. The oldest samplers were made by Hendrika Lamberts in 1766 and some years later by her twin sisters Geertruyda and Jacoba. The later ones were made in the 1790's -1800's by their nieces. Several of these samplers are in the online collection (go to zoeken, fill in merklap or stoplap).
The first sampler of the group was made by Hendrika Lamberts (1755-1800) in 1766.
The next one was made by her niece Hester Jacoba Lamberts (1790-1831) in 1805. Not bad either!
(Collection Historisch Museum Deventer)
Momentarily on our website we have a pair of samplers made by GTR in 1791. At first glance, the samplers didn't fit into the Amsterdam, Holland or Zeeland as provenance. Doing some (no, a lot) research brought us a bit closer to Deventer, but it was still no solid proof. Until...the darning samplers popped up and everything fell into place. It turned out that the darning samplers were more or less unchanged in a almost a century. This gave us the key to form a complete group of Deventer samplers, including GTR's.
The first darning sampler was again worked by Hendrika, but the one underneath was made by her sister Geertruyda (1753-1813) in 1769.
Than a generation later a darning sampler followed by Geertruyda's nice Ida (1795- ?) in 1809. She was the sister of Hester (sampler above).
Than just a little back in time, the darning sampler (and sampler) of GTR fits very nicely in between the Lamberts family needlework.
The similarities, particularly in the darning samplers are evident; a dark corner darn, a needlelace darn, eight darns placed a bit inwards, a striking middle cartouche with crown and guirlandes. And, as so often there is no sign on any of the samplers who was responsible for all this. The teachers of the French school(s) in Deventer were to modest to have the girls put their initials on the samplers. Too bad really, finding records of the famous French schools in the Netherlands is quite a difficult task if not impossible. Nevertheless, a start is made now and we are able to define a complete new group of former more or less homeless samplers!
Underneath a few more examples. Please have a look.
This sampler made by FE 1824 has a darning sampler companion...
There are several more but to round up this subject one more darning sampler, the youngest we found so far. Worked in 1859 and still so perfectly made. It must have been at least the third or fourth generation of teachers keeping up the good work.
The Feast of Epiphany or Three Kings Day on 6 January commemorates the visit of the three Wise men from the East to Bethlehem. They were led by a star and came to worship the newborn King of the Jews and to offer Him their gifts.
According a catholic tradition, children would go round the doors to sing carols. They dressed up like the three wise men and carried Chinese lanterns and a star on a pole.
On Dutch samplers, the scene of the three Kings was sometimes worked by the girls. A perfect example is the pattern underneath taken from the excellent book of "Embroidery Motifs from Dutch samplers", published in 1974 and written by the late Mrs Albarta Meulenbelt.
More often, but not as often as the Spies from Canaan or Adam and Eve the sampler girls would simply leave out the third man, possibly for symmetrical reasons. Than it would look something like the image underneath. It was taken from the sampler IA 1772, which is momentarily on our website (our website) The two figures left do not wear crowns or royal costumes anymore. In fact, they look like the children who would sing at the doors. However, were did the third figure go?
Although not mentioned in the Bible, the three Wise men were given names. One of them, named Caspar was the black man or Moor who brought frankincense for the Redeemer. Every now and than, we see a pattern that might be Caspar all by himself or copied several times, but without his two companions. Please note the right arm. Should it not holding something, like a star on a pole?
In our previous blog of a few days ago there was again the same figure. Often we thought that the black man pattern would refer to the slave-trade or colonialism, something the Dutch would be heavily involved with. Looking closely now, we can see a type of crown, a sash and the arm holding on to nothing. This can only be Caspar!
Not unimportant, depending on were you live of course, the days are getting longer again after the sixth of January!
It would be nice to have all Broek in Waterland band samplers on picture and on this blog. This time, I can add two examples, the first made by Annetje:
(Collection Open Air Museum Arnhem)
As you will see on these pictures and more to come, all 15 samplers look a like, yet are all quite different. For example, although Annetje was reformed, she choose to stitch a large Maria in letters, the same for the Agnus Dei pattern in the middle. On other samplers the Maria symbol is less obvious or even absent, the Agnus Dei is on all of them.
One of the sayings which is uncommon compared to the rest and reads in translation:
O that the world to him would turn- To each himself would truly learn- And faults of others leave to them- the world would go much better then.
Next one is on most of the samplers:
How beautiful we flowers that nod, It is soon done if it please God. Trust not in good that will decay, but in the world that lives for aye*.
(*translation taken from "The Needlework of Marken', M.van Hemert 1943)
Ten years later than Annetje's sampler, Reimerich choose somewhat larger patterns like the rosettes, the mystic wine-press and the cross. This sampler proves that the tower, often seen as the bell-tower of Monnickendam or even Edam, can stand by itself in the 1670's, not only on the earlier examples. On both samplers the bands are practically the same and the dogs are still fighting...
Now, eleven more pictures to be put on the weblog. For reasons of research it would be great to get them all together, large and in color. I will keep you updated.
Some type of samplers are rare, some are very rare. So is this Vierlande sampler worked in 'full color'. I heard of their existence, but never seen one. The sampler looks very different from its black (and red) counterparts of the region. The composition and patterns, like the rosettes, Trees of Life and cherub-heads are nevertheless the same.
The sampler is small (only 35 x 35 cm) and full! It was made by Met(t)a Mundts in 1806. Worked with silk on linen. So far, no trace of Meta Mundts was found in Vierlande. She might have emigrated to the US at some time.
Vierlande, near Hamburg was in Meta's time a wealthy agricultural region with strong traditions. The Vierlande people came originally from Dutch soil. The similarities with some of the Groningen samplers are remarkable, but could just be accidental.
Now, why is this one in color and others are not? It is certainly not an easy first sampler making effort. Was it, at least for this girl, a pre-black sampler exercise? And, are there any other colored Vierlande samplers out here?
Collection Ex Amsterdam
As one would expect to be this Dutch sampler from the catholic south of the Netherlands, it's not. It was rather made in Amsterdam at an orphanage or private school. The city has always had a large catholic population under protestant government. Catholicism was tolerated however at that time but only after 1848 allowed to be practised openly again.
Nonetheless, this sampler from 1806 has a nice image of the Veil of Veronica. The pattern is quite uncommon. French sampler makers used it more often. I am not sure, but is Christ winking at us? (There is no trace of the other eye).
Here is how Hans Memling portrait the scene:
Above the cloth there is a monstrance, a crown and pierced heart. Underneath the veil the scene of the pelican in her piety. The girl, MCH (?) choose for the Amsterdam style roses combined with other flowers arranged in large urns. And such symmetry!
There is one other aspect of this sampler that catches the eyes: the backside! Look at the abundance of the silks. To save the precious material or to learn how to work neatly was apparently not the fist goal of the school.
Our beautiful and precious center of Amsterdam was recently included on the World Heritage Site list of the Unesco, finally. It seems quite remarkable that Amsterdam girls, in the 17th and 18th century, being part of a fast growing, exciting and wealthy society, never embroidered a real ' lifetime ' building, church or tower, canal or bridge like we sometimes see on English or American samplers. Never? There is one (and maybe more?) exception which is part of the small collection of samplers of the Rijksmuseum.
The maker of this wonderful sampler (or merklap), LDR in 1753 did it different. This house was real, it was her family home and has been identified as being Egelantiersgracht 14 .The inscription on the sampler tells that the house was founded (in 1693) by LDR's grandfather. The Rijksmuseum has interesting documentation on LDR's piece. Underneath is the Dutch version as shown on the museum's website. In summary: LDR stands either for Laurentina de Ronbaij (1740-1819) or for her sister Lammertje de Ronbaij (1743-1819). The IDR, in the tympan, stands for Jacob, their grandfather. He was blauwverver or blue dyer. His son, the father of the girls was kousenverver or stocking dyer. Laurentina lived on Egelantiersgracht until her death.
Her home than looks very different from the actual situation. On this foto from 1950, our building is the second from the right. Somewhat different than the one on the sampler; the top was taken of and straightened possibly around 1800 (indeed, when Laurentina still lived there) The small windows and shutters on the sampler are all gone but the two doors, left and right and the middle entree are still there. Many buildings were altered over time and altered again, sometimes according to the latest fashion, or sometimes because of lack of assets for maintenance. Nowadays, fortunately, it is more difficult to change buildings from the outside. The Unesco status should help to keep it like that. At least the house on the sampler is well preserved!
Onderstaande tekst is overgenomen van de website van het Rijksmuseum.
Merklap van katoenen mousseline waarop met veelkleurige zijde in kruissteek een huis met klokgevel onder het Amsterdamse stadswapen is geborduurd omgeven door kleine voorstellingen. Onder het stadswapen bevindt zich midden op de merklap een grachtenhuis met klokgevel waarop in de nok van het dak het jaartal 1753 en de letters IDR zijn geborduurd. De punt van het dak wordt omgeven door de tekst: DITHVYSISGESTICHT/DOORMYNGROOTVADER/ENDATINTLIGT. Links en rechts van het stadswapen een ovaal waarin links de letters LDR en rechts het jaartal 1753. De doek is verder opgevuld met diverse kleine scenes en losse ornamenten. Het geel is omgeven door een meanderende rand. Het huis is geidentificeerd als Egelantiersgracht 14, dat op 17 juli 1693 door Jacob de Ronbaij werd gekocht. De letters IDR op de gevel verwijzen naar deze blauwverver (1655-1749(. Kennelijk heeft hij het huis in 1697 laten verbouwen. Zijn zoon Willem (1699-1758), kousenverver en zijn echtgenote Jacomina Selijns (1702-1783) hadden drie dochters: Lammertje (1738-41), Laurentia (1740-1819) en Lammertje (1743-1819). Gezien hun leeftijd, was het hoogstwaarschijnlijk Laurentia die de merklap heeft gemaakt. In haar inventaris van 1820 wordt 'Een geschildert kist met eenig hantwerk f. 1,25' (op zolder) vermeld. Hoewel zij nog steeds in het ouderlijk huis woonde, was het door haar erven gekocht en verandert. Oorspronkelijk waren het twee huizen, no.'s 8 en 10 (Laurentia woonde in 8), maar nu tot één geheel gemaakt.