Isabella Taylor

Birmingham, England, 1783

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sampler size: 13¼" x 13" • frame size: 18" x 17¾" • sold

This is a fine sampler made by Isabella Taylor of Birmingham, England who used Roman Numerals to indicate the year the sampler was made, 1783. A naturalistic border of flowering vines emanating from cornucopias, with a strawberry plant above and a butterfly below, surrounds the verse, which is the one found most frequently on both English and American samplers.

Birmingham, 62 miles northwest of Oxford, was one of the leading manufacturing cities of Europe because of its inland navigation. Accordingly, a wealthy merchant class developed by the 18th century and the daughters from these families attended schools and learned to make samplers that rivaled those worked at the fine schools in London.

Worked in silk on linen gauze, the sampler is in excellent condition. It has been conservation mounted into an early 19th century maple frame with a gilt liner.

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