Sampler; 1846; 1977/25/1



About this object

This superb sampler has a plain weave wool ground embroidered with polychrome silk threads. Two rows of alphabets head the sampler. Beneath is the six-line verse, which was a popular choice for samplers and also appears on the earliest surviving American sampler, worked by a daughter of one of the Mayflower pilgrims in 1640. The verse is here edged with an arrangement of small motifs; trees, birds, flowers, a squirrel and a star. Bands of border stitches separate the verse fro three rows of further motifs. The sewer’s signature, age and date are worked in a small panel at the centre base. Bordering all sides is worked a flowering vine and flower edging.

Elizabeth Comber was 15 years old when she worked this sampler in 1846. It probably represents the end of her education and is a demonstration of her level of attainment. Four years later Elizabeth came to the infant settlement of Christchurch, one of the passengers by Canterbury’s famous ‘first four ships’. We have no further information on Elizabeth after her arrival.

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