Sarah’s exquisite sampler is worked almost entirely in cross stitch with the exception of a handful of backstitches. Sarah did not include a date on her sampler, however, from other dated samplers in Nicola’s collection, which include some of Sarah’s distinctive motifs, we are able to date the sampler to around 1840.
Worked in brightly coloured silks the sampler clearly shows the influence of the Berlin woolwork patterns which became so popular in Victorian England. The sampler is contained within a particularly beautiful and intricate floral border that captivates and delights. When viewing the sampler the eye is drawn to the lower section of the sampler where Sarah stitched a truly splendid parrot flanked by two pretty young ladies. Sarah incorporated 3 seashells into her design.
Whilst we have been unable to trace Sarah Daws in historical records, as there are many girls of that name, we believe our Sarah to have been a devoted daughter as touchingly she chose to dedicate her sampler to her “ever honoured Parents”.
On this fair worsted does my Needle write
Both love and duty bid my Heart indite.
Each pleasing view, each finished line appears,
To shew th’ improvement of my growing years.
With gratitude to God, my voice I raise,
That I am early taught to seek his ways;
And this my constant care, both Morn and Night:
Shall be to give you comfort and delight.
And in these lines, dear Parents I impart.
The fondest, tenderest, dictates of my Heart.
We have found her loving verse recorded on other samplers but have not been able to find the original source.
We believe that Sarah loved flowers, her sampler is filled with numerous blooms. Of all the earth’s creations flowers would have to be the most beloved. They have been admired and collected for countless years. Women have had a long and special relationship with flowering plants.
Sarah Daws has been brought to you in collaboration with Bhooma Aravamudan who has lovingly stitched the model. At the very core of Hands Across the Sea Samplers is a team of needleworkers who are passionate about antique samplers and being able to share those samplers with you.