Sampler; 1827; 1957/130/6



About this object

This is a very fine example of a Scottish sampler. It has the characteristic red and green thread colour scheme, the flat-topped ‘A’ among its alphabets, and groups of family initials around the name of its sewer. It has stylised carnations or ‘pinks’ in the border pattern along the bottom edge.

Mary Callender was born at Denny, Stirlingshire, Scotland in 1812. She was therefore 15-years-old when she worked this sampler and an accomplished embroiderer. Mary married Robert Ure, a carpenter, at Denny in 1845 and the couple subsequently emigrated to Otago, settling on the Taieri. Mary died at their farm ‘Broompark’ of a hepatic tumour (cancer) in 1871. Her daughter Janet married David Calder junior and their daughter, Clara Calder, worked another samplers that is in the Museum collection in 1877 – fifty years after her grandmother’s effort. The sampler is one of the four donated to the Museum by the estate of Sarah Leach, nee Calder.

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