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Thérèse Barral 1843 - Couleur Tourterelle
Reproduction Sampler - French 19th Century

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Linen and Threads


Stitched in 1843 by Thérèse Barral, aged 10, the sampler is dedicated to Jesus and Mary “all my life, with all my heart”.

What  is  remarkable  about  this  sampler  is  that  at first  view,  it  follows  the codes and classic early 19th century composition of religious samplers of the south of France, around a large central altar.  Take a close look however and you will notice that motifs have been freely substituted, such as the central altar surrounded by two large crosses which has been replaced with a monumental basket of  flowers. The  geometric frame has also been replaced with a rare and elegant floral border.

The  letters  stitched  are  those from  the  "Linen  Maid’s  Alphabet"  reproduced  in  Diderot & d’Alembert’s Encyclopaedia.  In Catholic  samplers of  France, Italy and  sometimes  the  Netherlands,  letters  of  the  alphabet  were always preceded with a cross. In this particular case, the cross is prominent  and  bears  an  Italian  influence.  While  Thérèse  did  not include  her  location,  this  hints  to  a  South  of  France  origin.

The original sampler measures 20 x 16 inches (50 cm x 41 cm). It was  stitched  using  wool  which  was  quite  innovative  for  1843,  as wool only  started to be used for needlework samplers at the time. It is however still stitched on linen fabric. Later wool would be worked on more open canvas.

The reproduction sampler is worked using silk on 40ct fabric, over two threads. Alternatives are provided should you prefer to use embroidery floss or wool, like the original.

Stitch Count: 304w x 271h
Linen: Newcastle 40 Count, colour Vintage Country Mocha
Thread: Au ver a Soie d'Alger - 20 colours


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