Ann Amelia Roberts, England, 1836

Ann Amelia Roberts, England, 1836

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sampler size: 15¾” x 13” • framed size: 18¼” x 15½” • price: $1700

A wonderfully detailed, stately manor house sits on a fenced-in lawn with a central path leading from a gate up to the front door, a flock of birds flies above. Two trees and a lady appear on one side and, somewhat incongruously, a spotted cow on the other. The sampler was made by Ann Amelia Roberts and is dated April 28th, 1836. Likely she was the daughter of Esther and William Roberts, baptized at St. Leonard, Shoreditch, an ancient parish church, on January 27, 1822. This neighborhood, now a part of the East End of London, was a separate area then and is best known for its early days as the original site of production of Shakespeare’s plays.

Ann’s moralistic four-line verse, accomplished with tiny stiches, is the last stanza of Samuel Johnson’s poem, Winter: An Ode, first published in 1748:

Catch then, O catch the transient hour, Improve each moment as it flies: Life’s a short summer man a flower: He dies: alas! How soon he dies.”

Worked in silk on wool, the sampler is in excellent condition with some very minor wear at the top edge. It has been conservation mounted and is in a 19th century black painted frame.

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