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American Quaker Sampler stitched by Krista

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Monday, 26 January 2015

Mastering Mary

We are seeing lots of Mary's being started and great progress is being made.

Section 2 is a little way off but it might be worth starting to give this area some thought.



Do you want to stitch it as Mary did with her name and the alphabet or would you prefer to personalise it?

I have often seen in my mind the Queen and Princess as a Mother and Daughter. If I had a daughter I might stitch a dedication to her here and include  family names and dates.

All food for thought. If anyone would like help with charting names and text I would be happy to assist.

Michele is working her sampler from the bottom upwards and posted a photo of her progress yesterday, please check her post as it is very inspiring to see the final band we are working towards.

This band features "boxers" not Poppy and Blue, my boxers dogs, but small figures that are frequently found on English band samplers during the 17th and first half of the 18th century.



They were given the name of ‘boxer’ by 19th-century collectors because of their stance with raised arm as if taking guard.



They are shown walking sideways on, facing or following each other and are usually separated by an odd flowering branch or vase. They carry a trophy/offering in one hand.



They seem to be a mystery but one theory is that they are based on Cupid or a pair of lovers possibly exchanging gifts. 




Another theory put forward is that they have been derived from "putti " (little cherubs) depicted in Italian medieval and Renaissance paintings and engravings.​

The figures have become caricaturized by the stitches used and by clothing them in costumes of the period.



Early boxers were similar as they were usually naked but gradually as clothing was added they took on different identities, some even have feathered hats, long curls and lace collars.



There have even been boxers with very long hair that may have been female.

It has been suggested that the flowering branch or vase metamorphosed from a dancing woman or the boxer's lover and recipient of the offering. The ones that Mary stitched might be interpreted as having a female head, body, extended arms and splayed feet.

All the theories you read about in different reference books are very interesting but we will never exactly know for certain what they represent but thinking of them as lovers bearing gifts takes away the malevolence of some of the early naked boxers.

If any of our members have more information about boxers please will they share their knowledge with the group.

Keep your photos coming and your needles flying

1 comment:

zenuwpees said...

Beautiful embroidery Marie-Claire