The following photo is of an open work Italian sampler pictured and described in Elisa Ricci's Ricami Italiani Antichi e Moderni (Le Monnier, 1925).
A 17th century sampler of 60 different motifs divided into three columns. All done in white on white, superby executed – perhaps the work of a professional embroiderer or teacher. Reticello, Punto Antico, Drawn Thread work. Elisa Ricci says that it is no longer a "page of notes" but a "page from a dictionary or manual." Indeed this is definitely a sampler one could use as a reference for many, many motifs and stitches.
What if it was someone's resumé? You'd hire them on the spot!
Rows of Four-Sided Stitch are used to divide the motifs and the sections (also as a unit of measure - it's much easier to count squares than individual ground threads!). Curl Stitch, Satin Stitch and Buttonhole Stitch in many of its variations.
Wouldn't it be lovely to study this one up close? Look at the texture!
For some excellent articles on samplers, go to Tuttoricamo and look under the 'History' heading.