Ann Spence 1801 Sampler

This Georgian English sampler, belonging to my private collection, was worked by Ann Spence at the age of 10. She dated it “December th27 1801”. I purchased this sampler in August 2012 from Miles Griffiths Antique. 

Anne Spence stitched her original 1801 sampler with vibrant silk threads and she depicted a myriad of motifs scattered throughout the sampler: crowns, birds, peacocks, parrot, squirrels, dogs, rabbits, hare, goat, stag, trees, flowers, basket with fruit or flower arrangements, cartouches with initials, and also a forest at the lower central section with a large stag and a huge parrot, the tree of knowledge with the serpent, Adam and Eve. Ann also stitched three main buildings surrounding a large central vase with flowers. At the middle right is a country church with a black tiled roof. At the opposite side is a two ranked, two-story house with two lateral extensions with one window each, in the Adam-style, with a full-length roofline balustrade, a large entry and eight chimneys. This building could possibly be a school in which she was instructed. The last building, just below the central vase, is a very simple timbered or brick English farmhouse of seventeenth century style, with only three small windows, a tiled roof and two chimneys. This could possibly be Ann’s house. A strawberry border provides a gentle frame and a strawberry band divides a shorter upper section from the other middle-inferior section. In the upper section of the sampler there are other bands, alphabets, numbers, initials with little hearts and two lovely phrases: “may virtue guide my unexperienced youth and lead my footsteps in the paths of truth” and a wedding ring motto “Let not absence banish love”.

The Original Sampler

(the real color palette was set up by looking at the back of the sampler where threads were unfaded)

1801 Ann Spence 1

Fabric 22x31 in (55.8x78.7 cm) Parchment 36 ct hand dyed linen from Weeks Dye Works
Threads hand dyed 12-stranded Silk’n Colors threads from The Threads Gatherer: Stormy Skies SNC 006, Willow Green SNC 047, Pearled Blues SNC 048, Camouflage Green SNC 055, Moon Flax SNC 143, Wintered Grass SNC 155, Straw Into Gold SNC 175, Crimson Wood SNC 179, Christmas Pines SNC 231, Slug Bug SNC 260, Forest Ash SNC 261, Cinnamon Stick SNC 1012, Peach Wood SNC 1014, Madeline’s Locks SNC 1024, Forest Shadows SNC 1047, Grungy Green SNC 1077 (DMC conversions given)
Stitches Cross-stitch, Back stitch, Satin stitch, pulled Algerian Eyelet stitch over four, and four sided stitch