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At Hands Across the Sea Samplers we can never resist a red sampler and particularly such a beauty as Carmelle. The model is now hanging in Nicola’s red sampler room; where it has pride of place.
Azzopardi is a rare surname and most probably originated in the Lombardy region of Italy. It is also associated with Malta, Greece, and France.
It is possible that Carmelle was French. She records in French on the sampler “fait par Carmelle Azzopardi le 6 Juillet 1900” (made by Carmelle Azzopardi July 6, 1900). The sampler was acquired in the United States and a search of family history records notes that many Azzopardis emigrating to the United States came from Malta. Furthermore, seventeen per cent of the population of Malta speak French, so this could be a Maltese sampler. We wish we could ask Carmelle !
The letters I and J appear separately in the first alphabet that Carmelle stitched; however, in the three following alphabets, the I and the J have been combined. Centuries ago, the letters I and J were used interchangeably by scribes to express the sound of both the vowel and the consonant.
The spelling “Carmelle” adds sophistication and a decidedly French feel to the name of Carmel. The sampler Carmelle stitched in 1900 definitely has some “oh là là”, and we hope that you have many hours of joy stitching her sampler for your own collection.
Carmelle executed her sampler with cross stitches laid over two threads of linen. The sampler is suitable for needleworkers of all levels of ability and can be worked on Aida or linen.
Carmelle’s sampler has been painstakingly reproduced by Lisa Brown and lovingly stitched by Nicola Parkman. At the very core of Hands Across the Sea Samplers there is a team of needleworkers who are passionate about antique samplers and being able to share those samplers with you.