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Eliza Jane Sayle sampler

Date made: 1900

Place made: Andreas

Description: A cross stitch woollen sampler made by Eliza Jane Sayle of Keeiltushag, Andreas, and completed in 1900. The embroideress was the daughter of John James Sayle, farmer, of Keeiltushag, Andreas. The sampler contains a variety of 19th century design motifs, including early 19th century birds and a tree of life with Adam and Eve, together with later Berlin woolwork roses and the symbols of faith, hope and charity (the cross, anchor and heart). The designs may have come from printed patterns and/ or have been copied from older samplers, possibly made by her mother or grandmother.

The sampler has the maker's inscription and the three verses of the 18th century hymn 'Spirit of Mercy, Truth and Love'. The sampler has been made with a mixture of Berlin wools and coarse cream silk on a double thread canvas. The brightly coloured wool threads are the result of chemical aniline dyes, which date from the mid 19th century and were a by-product of the emerging petro-chemical industry and provided vibrant colourfast dyes.

From the most basic to the most ornate, sampler making was an important part of a young girl's education in the 18th and 19th centuries, for all classes of society. It could be used to teach literacy and the basic skills of needlework in charity schools and later Board schools and was also an important part of a young lady's education in private schools where more decorative and ornate samplers might be made.

Measurements: artwork: 82 cm x 63 cm

Materials: wool on canvas

Object name: sampler

Collection: Costume & Textiles Collection

ID Number: 1983-0185


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