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Bonnie J Cook

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Purchased at a catalogued auction of French Folk Art in Paris, France, this sampler was guaranteed to be from the late 18th c. by the French "Expert" present in the salesroom. ( French auctions are a bit different than their American counterparts.  A French auctioneer must attend a special school and afterwards, pass an examination and do an internship before being able to take the title of "Maitre".  A French auctioneer is similar to a lawyer  in this country.  Auctions are more closely regulated in France.)

The sampler is titled "Saint Suaire de Besançon".  It depicts the corpse of Christ surrounded by a Bishop and two Deacons.

This sampler was executed using several different mediums. The foundation of the sampler is cream colored silk taffeta. The body of Christ was drawn using red ink. Embroidery work was wrought using silk embroidery and gold thread.  The faces of the deacon and bishops were hand painted on paper that was then adhered to the taffeta.  

I emailed the Expert to ask for further information and explanation of this sampler and this is what she replyed "En France, il y a eu "plusieurs saint-suaire" dont celui dit aujourd'hui de Turin et qui se trouvait à Chambéry en Savoie. Le saint-suaire de Besançon, vénéré depuis le XVIe siècle, a disparu au début du XIXe siècle dans un incendie. A la différence du saint suaire de Turin, celui de Besançon ne présente le corps du Christ que sur une face."  Evidently, there are several Saint Suaires in France.  This sampler was found in Chambery in the Savoie region of France.

Generally good condition with some staining and small losses due to vermin.  Dimensions:  12" x 16 1/2".

An interesting, early sampler to add to a collection. 

Click on photo to enlarge it.  Other views 1, 2 , 3, 4. Back.







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