Dating from the early 18th to the late 19th century, these embroidered pictures were made by girls (and occasionally boys) as part of their education.
Scottish samplers are unique with regard to the amount of information that can be gathered from them. They often include the initials of extended family members as well as details of buildings, places and events, leading to the identification of almost all of these young embroiderers. In some cases, years of meticulous research has revealed their unique stories. The Durst collection is, therefore, a truly unique record of two centuries of Scottish social history.
Generously on loan from the Leslie B. Durst Collection.
Maern Kedglie, from Inveresk, represented the neighbouring town of Musselburgh in her sampler, using the town’s coat of arms of three anchors and three mussels. © © Leslie B. Durst Collection
This alphabet sampler has been left unfinished. It is one of a collection of samplers created by the Swan and Ballingal families © Leslie B. Durst Collection
May Robert has incorporated biblical scenes from the story of Elijah into her sampler. © Leslie B. Durst Collection
Isabella Cook’s sampler is one of a pair both depicting a zebra. © Leslie B. Durst Collection
It is possible A McGilliy embroidered a shortened version of her surname, which may have been McGillivray. © Leslie B. Durst Collection
Catherine Monro’s multiplication sampler reflects the type of schooling she received. © Leslie B. Durst Collection
Agnes Henry's sampler is unusual in that it is stitched on paper and made with coloured beads rather than conventional embroidery thread. © Leslie B. Durst Collection
Margaret Alexander’s sampler, made during the Napoleonic Wars, includes portraits of three British army regiments. © Leslie B. Durst Collection
26 Oct 2018 - 21 Apr 2019
National Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh - Exhibition Gallery 2, Level 3