Whitework Pictorial Sampler
Basket of Flowers with Eight Vignettes,
Northern Europe, initialed M. N., circa 1780
An exceptional and very impressive sampler, this Dresden-type needlework picture was made towards the end of the 18th century, likely in Germany. The techniques include cut and drawn thread work and as well as surface embroidery, all of it accomplished on almost impossibly fine linen.
The central depiction is a large Louis XVI vase with an arrangement of large flower blossoms next to a large bird on a branch with a berry in its beak. Eight small vignettes provide excellent animation on either side - scenes of birds, animals and a little man with a walking stick. The highly refined needlework and the whimsical, organic subject matter make for a wonderfully engaging combination.
Notably, the border exhibits a great deal of very beautiful drawnwork. The border along the bottom serves as a plinth, grounding the scene and the graceful, scrolling initials of the maker, M. N.
Worked in linen on linen, the sampler is in excellent condition with some very tiny areas of loss to the linen. There is an old repair near the bird in the upper right. It has been conservation mounted and is in a fine, gold leaf 19th century frame.
photo of reverse