Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Carmarthen bird samplers.

Carmarthen, the town and county have already been mentioned quite a few times on this blog and I am fairly sure they will crop up many times in the future.  It is an area in South West Wales which has a rich textile history and thousands of samplers were sewn there in the 19th century.

Many of its samplers have a pair of very large birds, sometimes the predominant motif but also accompanied by other major elements.  I am not sure where the pattern originated or what sort of birds they are but they are certainly distinctive.

These are some of the samplers - all come from around the town of Carmarthen and there are many links which can be recognised.

I have more of these on file and they will appear when I manage to digitalise the images.

This beauty has everything, the  house which is seen on many samplers from Carmarthen, also the shepherd and shepherdess and right at the top, not very distinct in this picture, cupids with bows and arrows!
Sorry about this awful picture, this is my sampler which comes from a village just north of Carmarthen called Bronydd Arms.  It too has the cupids and also some picturesque red ruins which can be found on other samplers from this area.
This one has a border of leaves and acorns, much favoured on Carmarthen samplers. 
This sampler is very similar to the first without the house, but has a version of the bluebell trees.


  1. Hello Mary, I purchased the Rachel Howells sampler earlier this year. A friend pointed out this post this morning, and there she is! I do not have any information on her, so I have found your information quite interesting. I would love to know more. I tried to find an email address for you, but could not. I am in the process of reproducing the chart at this time.
    Thanks, Tanya

  2. Hi Tanya, I have written to you through your google mail address and have sent you my normal email address.

  3. I love those birds! I absolutely love the 3rd one! I would stitch that. Thanks for this fabulous blog, I am enjoying it so much.