Tuesday, July 21, 2009


  Photo by Gavin Ashworth

"Hannah" is the first name of the young lady who made this sampler…isn’t this a beautiful name for a young girl!   The small sampler, silk embroidery on linen  is very special as it has its original frame……pine with black stain.  I collect handwork done by school girls, and I  think this one is especially nice, as it has the motif of Adam and Eve.  Hannah’s last name is Gawler and the sampler is dated 1819. I have tried to trace her lineage without success.

Young ladies in years past were expected to excel at handwork and store the finished pieces in a Hope Chest.   If  I had to do this  intricate handwork as a young girl, I am afraid the fabric would be speckled with blood from needle marks!  Perhaps that is one reason I admire the nice clean samplers of long ago!!  

We have a granddaughter by the name of “Hannah ” and this sampler will be hers someday.  I have a small collection of other samplers……….many are ragged and torn, but still deserve a gold colored frame and a place on the very pink walls of our second parlor.  They have strawberry designed borders , the alphabet, the date, and the name of the designer of the sampler.   

Another has the place of origin..rather faded, and sports a green painted frame. This one is delegated to our kitchen with its  light green walls.  Two of the larger samplers, both in not so good shape, have mid Victorian mahogany frames, One features an incomplete 2 story house, and the other a basket of fruit with the Virginia name of “Bird”.  These are mounted on the brick wall in the kitchen. 

I understand there are new samplers on the market…..so buyer beware!!!!  


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