In previous blogs we discussed the Crown-, Cock-, Rococo- and Pattern Darning samplers. Of the last type two wonderful pieces can be added to the list. Both still stand on their own.
The first is of particular historical interest because the initials of ES are known! This is the first time we have a name in this series. ES stands for Evertje Swaan who was born in 1752 in Maarssen. Maarssen is a small town along the river Vecht, just north of Utrecht. The river Vecht flows between Amsterdam and Utrecht and became in the 17th century the favorite location of well to do Amsterdam merchants who would built there their country-houses.
A little background of Evertje is also known. Her father was alderman in Maarssen. What we do not know yet is where the girl went to school. It is still likely that it was in Amsterdam (see previous blogs). Yet, speculating is allowed; perhaps Evertje went by tow-boat to her (semi-) boarding school in Amsterdam, maybe back and forth a few times a month. Or could this group be from a school in Maarssen?
Evertje worked the wonderful big rose, a crown imperial and a peony as worked on some of the other samplers and seen on contemporary damask.
Underneath, the sampler has the uncommon combination of a ' regular- 'and pattern darning sampler. The rather large sampler made by MB in 1770 contains maybe the most hours of work of all described samplers so far. You can see why. Obviousely the sampler was very good preserved by careful owners. The girl could choose the finest and most colorful silks. The result in 1770 is still about the same as we see it now 241 years later.