I have had a bit of an ongoing conversation with Tao who left a comment on on this post . I thought I would highlight it and come to the defence of valuing, studying and collecting needlework samplers.
People find the destruction of these cultural objects offensive because they are part of women’s history. The history and making of samplers has held a long fascination for me and Teo you are obviously unaware of it. I have an article on samplers also online There is also this article on history of samplers . The Caron site has a very good article on Samplers Through the Ages by Rita Vainius. Dutch Samplers by Lucy Lyons Willis is a good article about the tradition of Dutch needlework samplers.
Also Teo infers that nobody is interested in these embroideries that they simply clutter up the place so its perfectly valid to reuse them in another way. I want to point out that as cultural artefacts samplers are studied and valued take a look at this up and coming symposium . Exemplum Samplers run by Rob Firth who not only deals in antique samplers also provides information about the history, the meaning of motifs, the care and value of samplers in this fascinating area of textile practice. The site also houses a showcase of samplers with their background information.
The Victorian and Albert Museum has a huge collection of samplers in its textile collection. Other examples of samplers held in collections are here and at Powerhouse here is another and yet another at the National Heritage Museum . A casual search of the Cleveland Museum of Art textiles collection revealed this 17th century English Band sampler and another beautiful example from the same period. These were found on just a quick google search there are many collections held throughout the world of samplers.
I don’t like to measure the value of things according to what people will pay for. Equating cultural value with dollars is dangerous but people pay big dollars for samplers according to this report . These are quite hefty sums for samplers.
I really think the original pieces can not be dismissed as being of little value so easily.