Mary Clayton: An English School Girl Sampler by Hands Across the Sea Samplers

Mary Clayton: An English School Girl Sampler by Hands Across the Sea Samplers

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Mary Clayton’s sweet sampler is a delightful example of a young child’s artwork. Mary tells us that she was aged 9 years when she stitched her sampler. She has given no year or location, however, we believe that the sampler is English and was stitched in the mid 1800’s.

An imposing building first catches the eye. Maybe this was a church run school or orphanage as the roof is topped by a cross. Above hovers two trumpeting angels signifying the word of God and reinforcing our first thought that the building is connected in some way to a church institution. The bottom section of the sampler is full of out of proportion trees, potted roses and a basket of fruit.

The sampler is stitched in cross stitch over two threads. There are a handful of cross stitches that Mary “squeezed” into her sampler that sit one thread wide and two threads high.  The sampler is suitable for beginners through to advanced needleworkers. The design area is 201 stitches (w) x 183 stitches (h).

The sampler has been reproduced using the mellowed colours found on the front of the sampler today.