The first sampler that we reproduced was the Eliza Ann Marlett sampler from 1838. It was stitched in Aurora, Illinois, which is unusual because Aurora was only founded in 1834 as I recall. Aurora is near where I live in the Chicago area. This sampler is owned by the Aurora Historical Society.
This is a photo (not a very good one) of the front of this sampler. It's edges had been glued to a mat board a zillion years ago, and it was framed. We loved this sampler because it included quite a few different kinds of stitches.
Above is a photo of the reverse. Notice how Eliza carried her threads from letter to letter and motif to motif.
This is a photo of the reproduction sampler. We loved the cute little heart in the lower right hand corner and also the small flower basket on the second line. Eliza was not always perfect in her stitching, but that is the charm of it. When I took the reproduction to be framed, the lady at the frame shop said, "You have lots of mistakes in this piece." And I said, "Isn't that great!"
This is a close-up of the repro. There is a coss stitch alphabet, a 4-sided stitch alphabet, and the top alphabet is a combination of eyelets and smyrna cross stitches. The small dividing lines are various long arm cross stitches.
The signature line at the bottom is cross stitch over 1 thread. I like this sampler a lot because there are very few samplers originally stitched in the mid-west...and it was our first.
Have to go and take my aging Golden Retriever, Murphy, for his afternoon walk. Hope to be back tomorrow. --Nancy