Samplers-How to Compare and Value

December 3, 2009


Stephen and Carol Huber are without question leaders in the field of antique samplers and schoolgirl needlework. Their book, Samplers-How to Compare & Value, is a go-to source for information on British and European samplers as well as North American samplers from the New England, mid-Atlantic and Southern states. One of the best features of this book is the side-by-side comparison which shows in detail the difference between a good sampler and a better sampler. The text is easy to read and the pictures are outstanding in detail.

The Hubers also offer good general advice to collectors. It is their opinion that knowledge is what “drives the antique needlework market.” A collector must have knowledge of the styles, patterns and materials typical of certain regions and the designs which can be linked to a specific school or teacher. They also stress the importance of the condition of a sampler. Simply put “a sampler must look good to be a good investment.” In other words, if two pieces cost the same, they suggest choosing the one that is easy-to-read and brightly colored as opposed to a more elaborate one that is badly faded or stained.

This book has much to offer when comparing different types of samplers. The only reason I did not give it five red hearts is that it was published in 2002. I would really like to see an updated version since much has, obviously, changed in the last seven years.  If you would like to buy this book you can go to on-line retailers as well as the Hubers’ website To read more about the Hubers go to my September 30 post, “Interview with the Hubers” which will link you to a podcast interview with them.



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