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Plight of Fancy


Plight of Fancy took it’s inspiration from the 17th century European band samplers. The roses are depicted full-face, as was common at that time. They are to be found in most samplers of this period together with acorns, carnations and “boxer” figures.

The boxer is perhaps the most intriguing sampler motif. The term derives from the figure’s sideways and distinctly pugalistic stance with raised arm and clenched fist grasping a flower. In fact nothing could be further from the truth. The boxer is offering a flower to his beloved. It has been suggested that these figures are versions of Renaissance cupids or putti or perhaps Apollo pursuing Daphne. What appears to be a shrub or plant between the figures as the object of the boxer’s desire. In continental European samplers the plants are obviously women but in England they evolved into bushes although the rounded “heads”, wide “skirts” and splayed “feet” can, with a little imagination, be seen to represent stylised women.

PDF download, Materials and Threads

  • Area in stitches: 235 x 383
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