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)