Embroidered Stories: Scottish Samplers will showcase a small selection of embroideries drawn from over 500 Scottish samplers in the collection of Leslie Durst – an American with a passion for Scotland.

#ScottishSamplers

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.

  • 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. © Private Collection of Leslie B. Durst

    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. © Private Collection of Leslie B. Durst
  • This alphabet sampler has been left unfinished. It is one of a collection of samplers created by the Swan and Ballingal families © Private Collection of Leslie B. Durst

    This alphabet sampler has been left unfinished. It is one of a collection of samplers created by the Swan and  Ballingal families  © Private Collection of Leslie B. Durst
  • May Robert has incorporated biblical scenes from the story of Elijah into her sampler. © Private Collection of Leslie B. Durst

    May Robert has incorporated biblical scenes from the story of Elijah into her sampler. © Private Collection of Leslie B. Durst
  • Isabella Cook’s sampler is one of a pair both depicting a zebra. © Private Collection of Leslie B. Durst

    Isabella Cook’s sampler is one of a pair both depicting a zebra. © Private Collection of Leslie B. Durst
  • It is possible A McGilliy embroidered a shortened version of her surname, which may have been McGillivray. © Private Collection of Leslie B. Durst

    It is possible A McGilliy embroidered a shortened version of her surname, which may have been McGillivray.  © Private Collection of Leslie B. Durst
  • Catherine Monro’s multiplication sampler reflects the type of schooling she received. © Private Collection of Leslie B. Durst

    Catherine Monro’s multiplication sampler reflects the type of schooling she received.   © Private Collection of Leslie B. Durst
  • Agnes Henry's sampler is unusual in that it is stitched on paper and made with coloured beads rather than conventional embroidery thread. © Private Collection of Leslie B. Durst

    Agnes Henry's sampler is unusual  in that it is stitched on paper and made with coloured beads rather than conventional embroidery thread.  © Private Collection of Leslie B. Durst
  • Margaret Alexander’s sampler, made during the Napoleonic Wars, includes portraits of three British army regiments. © Private Collection of Leslie B. Durst

    Margaret Alexander’s sampler, made during the Napoleonic Wars, includes portraits of three British army regiments. © Private Collection of Leslie B. Durst

Header image: Margaret Alexander’s sampler, made during the Napoleonic Wars, includes portraits of three British army regiments. © Private Collection of Leslie B. Durst

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Samplers collection
Antique Samplers

An online museum that houses a collection of 1000+ antique needlework samplers from Europe and America.
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Exhibition information

When

26 Oct 2018 - 21 Apr 2019
10:00-17:00

Where

Exhibition Gallery 2, Level 3

How much

Free

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