Making the Middelburg darning samplers list raised the question of how many and what kind of other samplers the girls on this list would have made. In the article of Joanne Lukacher and I (see underneath, July '14) you have seen several images of non- darning samplers. Let's call them figurative samplers. As seen many times elsewhere, it would have make sense that the girls first make a figurative sampler with abc's and all kind of patterns and than as a final piece, make the very technical and time consuming darning sampler... Not in Middelburg! That did not happen at all!
After comparing and try to match all available figurative samplers, there was only one girl who made both a figurative - and darning sampler! The girl was already discussed in the article. It was the CAL (Catharina Leunissen) 1777 sampler. She made the wonderful Nehallenia sampler and a darning sampler in 1780.
With knowing about 110 darning samplers and about 30 figurative samplers the conclusion is justified that the girls in Middelburg would make a darning or a figurative sampler. Given the amount of darning samplers that are left these samplers were much more popular (by the teachers, parents or girls?). It explains also why the darning samplers have more figurative patterns than other darning samplers in Holland; the girls would learn a little more techniques and at the same time decorate their darning samplers.
One of the striking features of the Middelburg samplers was to work the full name, or sometimes initials, of the teachers. On other Dutch samplers, the teacher was never fully named. Appearently, there was a (healthy?) competition going on between these teachers and they wanted to be known. On few of the figurative samplers, there is a teacher's name on it, in fact, the same names as on the darning samplers.
A recent discovery are the SS initials on two samplers. We already knew that SS stands for Sarah Scholtus, who taught between 1764-1785. Please have a look. Sorry about the image, it's the black and white!
This sampler TWT (?) 1786 has to the mid-left the word By. Than at the same height, all the way to the right, it says SS. So, " By SS ", done in the same way as on the SS darning samplers. There is one other sampler known very similar like this (b/w picture too!). The sampler was made in a most Middelburg tradition; the dog of Nehalennia, deer, lion, tall building, flowers, coat of arms, etc.
TWT (?) 1786, Middelburg, Sara Scholtus was the teacher (unknown collection)
Another figurative sampler, in color this time, that was fully signed with a teachers name was made by M.S. van der Heys in 1793. Her tutor was Cornelia van Assendelft. She only taught for a short period, 1786-1793. Seven darning samplers have her name on it, one was made by Cornelia's sister Pieternella.
M.H van den Heys 1793, teacher Cornelia van Assendelft (Collection Historisch Museum De Bevelanden, Goes)
The building in the right corner of this sampler is often seen on Middelburg samplers. It is perhaps even the most used pattern in Zeeland. It was probably the Veersche- or Dampoort (poort = gate), part of the old sixteenth century brick wall around Middelburg. After becoming useless the gate was torn down in 1879.
Furthermore, there are several figurative samplers of teacher Adriana de Vroe. One of them (see underneath) was made by MDS in 1797. De Vroe was quite active. She had at least ten pupils who made a darning sampler and four who worked a figurative sampler.
MDS 1797 Middelburg, by A.de Vroe (Collection Stedelijk Museum Zutphen)
This particular building is also often seen on Middelburg samplers of the second half of the 18th century. This probably concerns Huize 's-Hertogenbosch on the Vlasmarkt. The 17th century building was seen as a small palace and has a distinctive belvedere on the roof, unique for the city. (see picture underneath, the building fortunately still exists!
Finally, the about dozen figurative samplers which have the girls and teachers names on them will be put on the Darning-samplers list. The list will than give a rather complete overview of the activities of the girls and their teachers. Not on the list are possible Middelburg samplers without a teachers name. Researching the girls and their twenty or so teachers would be a next project to pick up.
In conclusion, in the Middelburg sampler scene girls would make one important sampler, either a figurative sampler but more likely a darning sampler.